Saturday, October 13, 2012

Is US economic growth over?

Is US economic growth over? Faltering innovation confronts the six
Robert J. Gordon, 11 September 2012
  • There was virtually no growth before 1750;
  • There is no guarantee that growth will continue indefinitely.
This column introduces my CEPR Policy Insight, which argues in detail that the rapid progress made over the past 250 years could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history (Gordon 2012).
The data I use only concern the US and view the future from 2007 while pretending that the financial crisis did not happen. The focus is on per-capita real GDP growth in the frontier country since 1300, the UK until 1906 and the US afterwards. Growth in the frontier economy gradually accelerated after 1750, reached a peak in the middle of the 20th century, and it has been slowing since. The paper is about 'how much further could the frontier growth rate decline?'

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