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Sources of Growth

Robert Gordon has posted a blog and related article Is US economic growth over? in which he argues that we’re likely back to the 18th century of no per-capita improvement.
Global growth is slowing – especially in advanced-technology economies. This column argues that regardless of cyclical trends, long term economic growth may grind to a halt. Two and a half centuries of rising per-capita incomes could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history.
Now he wrote this to be deliberately provocative; we can think about how he may have overstated his case, and where we’d look for additional evidence. But it fits nicely with talking about Solow on Thursday about the nature of growth. (Indeed, the 1956 Solow paper, under Sakai > Resources, is one of the his two citations on the blog – the other is to his full paper.)
And I’ve made similar albeit less extreme arguments in Japan’s case.
Of course we’ll spend a few minutes on Samuelson first…