Economic Growth

Ronald Bailey Wonders If U.S. Economic Stagnation Is Inevitable

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Economic fall
Lucian Alexandru Motoc: Dreamstime

In "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?," a 2012 working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon argued that the country was in for 25 to 40 years of very slow growth. In particular, Americans in the bottom 99 percent of the U.S. income distribution could expect only 0.2 percent annual increases in their real per capita disposable incomes. Faltering technological innovation contributes substantially to the fall off in future growth. Gordon has just published another study,"The Demise of U.S. Economic Growth: Restatment, Rebuttal, and Reflections," in which he seeks to bolster his earlier conclusions. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey thinks Gordon is too pessimistic about the trajectory of technological progress, but admits that the economist has a point when it comes to the doleful direction of the economic headwinds.

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