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The Future of U.S. Economic Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Fernald, John G.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Jones, Charles I.

    (Stanford Graduate School of Business; NBER)

Abstract

Modern growth theory suggests that more than 3/4 of growth since 1950 reflects rising educational attainment and research intensity. As these transition dynamics fade, U.S. economic growth is likely to slow at some point. However, the rise of China, India, and other emerging economies may allow another few decades of rapid growth in world researchers. Finally, and more speculatively, the shape of the idea production function introduces a fundamental uncertainty into the future of growth. For example, the possibility that artificial intelligence will allow machines to replace workers to some extent could lead to higher growth in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernald, John G. & Jones, Charles I., 2014. "The Future of U.S. Economic Growth," Working Paper Series 2014-2, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2014-02
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2014-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph Zeira, 1998. "Workers, Machines, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1091-1117.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    4. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    5. David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2013. "Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 20-36, Spring.
    6. Charles I. Jones, 2002. "Sources of U.S. Economic Growth in a World of Ideas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 220-239, March.
    7. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
    8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:61-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Huber, Kilian, 2018. "Disentangling the effects of a banking crisis: evidence from German firms and counties," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87410, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    3. Kaniovski, Serguei, 2017. "The Optimal Use of Exhaustible Resources under Nonconstant Returns to Scale," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168079, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Kushlin, Valery Ivanovich & Ustenko, V.S., 2016. "Analysis of International Experience of Intensification of Scientific and Innovative Activity in the Modern Unstable Conditions," Working Papers 2832, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    5. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0840-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gilbert Mbara & Ryszard Kokoszczynski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Striking a balance: optimal tax policy with labor market duality," GRAPE Working Papers 16, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    7. Henrik Braconier & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Ben Westmore, 2015. "Policy challenges for the next 50 years," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2015(1), pages 9-66.
    8. Sarid, Assaf & Eckstein, Zvi & Tamir, Yuli (Yael), 2016. "Do cognitive skills Impact Growth or Levels of GDP per capita?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Steve Ambler & Craig Alexander, 2015. "One Percent? For Real? Insights from Modern Growth Theory about Future Investment Returns," e-briefs 216, C.D. Howe Institute.
    10. repec:eee:macchp:v2-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Samira Hasanzadeh & Hashmat Khan, 2016. "Sources of Canadian Economic Growth," Carleton Economic Papers 16-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Oct 2017.
    12. Canyon Bosler & Mary C. Daly & John G. Fernald & Bart Hobijn, 2017. "The Outlook for U.S. Labor-Quality Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Miguel Casares & Hashmat Khan, 2014. "Entry, Exit and Economic Growth: US Regional Evidence," Carleton Economic Papers 14-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    14. Patrizio Pagano & Massimo Sbracia, 2014. "The secular stagnation hypothesis: a review of the debate and some insights," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 231, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. Chen, Been-Lon & Hsu, Mei & Lai, Chih-Fang, 2016. "Relation between growth and unemployment in a model with labor-force participation and adverse labor institutions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 273-292.
    16. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    17. Sergey Aseev & Konstantin Besov & Serguei Kaniovski, 2016. "The Optimal Use of Exhaustible Resources Under Non-constant Returns to Scale," WIFO Working Papers 525, WIFO.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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