The End Of Economic Growth?

June 12, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

In recent years an increasing number of experts have suggested that rapid economic growth may soon come to an end. The argument goes, Free Exchange notes, that it is no longer easy for a lone genius to come up with a brand new discovery the way that Einstein did. You need teams of people from various fields working together for many years to make progress. Yet Free Exchanges goes onto argue that while this may be true, there is no reason why this will limit economic growth. Highlights include:

  • The amount of resources accessible to us has increased exponentially. Advanced statistical software has barely been around for two decades. Widespread broadband for less than a decade. The potential of these nascent developments has barely been unlocked.
  • There is no clear link between new discoveries and economic growth. It takes decades for countries to adapt to, and take advantage of, new technologies.
  • The tacocopter is an example. It simply leverages existing mapping and drone technology to come up with an innovative and valuable idea. Yet laws have not adapted to these new technologies and such a business venture would currently be illegal.

To read more about the role that Watson might play, what the industrial revolution shows us, the role that government has to play, how societal evolution, legal institutions, and social institutions all tie it together, the example of land-use policy, American tolerance for messiness, and what this means for unemployment, click here.

Source: Free Exchange