The US political gridlock in Washington is the main source of the country’s sluggish economic growth and declining competitiveness in recent years, according to a new study.
A Harvard Business School study released on Wednesday found that the American political system was hurting the nation’s economy.
The study said factors including a growing wealth gap, declines in productivity growth and a rise in the number of adults neither employed nor seeking jobs show that the US economy is becoming less competitive.
A majority of the school’s alumni surveyed blame political gridlock in Washington for the country’s declining economic competitiveness and hold both Democrats and Republicans responsible.
The average annual economic growth rate of about 2 percent since 2000 is well below the 3 to 4 percent average in the prior half-century. The study argued that the country’s economic performance peaked in the 1990s and has been eroding ever since.
“Only a minority of members of either party felt that their own party was acting in a way that supported economic growth,” said Jan Rivkin, a professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of the report.
Some respondents worry that neither US presidential nominee could end partisan gridlock in Washington, Rivkin said, adding “Anyone elected into the current system would face pressure toward paralysis.”
A separate poll of the general US public found smaller, but still considerable, percentage blaming the political system for a weak American economy. About half of Republicans, 26 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of independents blamed partisanship for deteriorating economic growth.