[Marxism] Robert Gordon's paper on the end of growth

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 28 08:15:35 MST 2012

> This paper raises basic questions about the process of economic growth. It questions the assumption,
> nearly universal since Solow’s seminal contributions of the 1950s, that economic growth is a continuous
> process that will persist forever. There was virtually no growth before 1750, and thus there is no guarantee
> that growth will continue indefinitely. Rather, the paper suggests that the rapid progress made over
> the past 250 years could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history. The paper is only about
> the United States and views the future from 2007 while pretending that the financial crisis did not
> happen. Its point of departure is growth in per-capita real GDP in the frontier country since 1300,
> the U.K. until 1906 and the U.S. afterwards. Growth in this frontier gradually accelerated after 1750,
> reached a peak in the middle of the 20th century, and has been slowing down since. The paper is about
> “how much further could the frontier growth rate decline?”


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