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Fortune struck for these Syrian migrants, but can they make it in California?

Peter Thiel

Will new technology translate into real-world gains?

Will new technology translate into real-world gains?

The stock market's gyrations during the last two weeks and the doubts they've raised about the strength of the U.S. economy have revived an old question about innovation and its influence on productivity: If we're really in the midst of a technology boom, how come we're not all doing better?

Certainly technology stocks have been enjoying a heady surge: The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index this spring finally breached the record set some 15 years ago, during the dot-com boom. (It's come down about 7.5% since its recent peak.)

But many economists looking at economic growth and worker productivity have concluded that new technologies haven't translated into real-world...