Summary of The Death of Innovation, the End of Growth

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The Death of Innovation, the End of Growth summary
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Whether you consider him a pessimist or a realist, macroeconomist Robert Gordon has carefully studied the potential for continued economic growth in the US and deemed it dismal. He bases his outlook on an analysis of four growth-slowing “headwinds” and the concept that future innovations must rival the game-changing inventions of the 20th century. getAbstract highly recommends this intelligent, albeit grim, lecture on the future of growth.

About the Speaker

Robert Gordon is a respected economist and professor at Northwestern University.



Has economic growth in America peaked? An analysis of economic acceleration over the past eight centuries shows that after hundreds of years of just a 0.2% annual increase, growth climbed to an apex of 2% in the 1930s to 1950s. It has subsequently declined. In fact, since 2007, growth in per capita income has been negative. If this downward slope persists, the next generations won’t enjoy the same standard of living. Yet for economic expansion to continue at merely half the pace set in the 20th century, future innovations must rival those of the decades that introduced electricity and the internal combustion engine. Such new, significant inventions are needed to counteract four growth-slowing “headwinds”:

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