The World Economy in 2050: a Tentative Picture
We present growth scenarios for 128 countries to 2050, based on a three-factor production function that includes capital, labour and energy. We improve on the literature by accounting for the energy constraint through dynamic modelling of energy productivity, and departing from the assumptions of either a closed economy or full capital mobility by applying a Feldstein-Horioka-type relationship between savings and investment rates. Our results suggest that, accounting for relative price variations, China could account for 28% of the world economy in 2050, which would be much more than the United States (14%), India (12%), the European Union (11%) and Japan (3%). They suggest also that China would overtake the United States around 2025 (2035 at constant relative prices). However, in terms of standards of living, measured through GDP per capita in purchasing power parity, only China would be close to achieving convergence to the US level, and only at the end of the simulation period.
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