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Reconsidering Expectations Of Economic Growth After

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  • Robert W. Fogel

Abstract

At the close of World War II, there were wide-ranging debates about the future of economic developments. Historical experience has since shown that these forecasts were uniformly too pessimistic. Expectations for the American economy focused on the likelihood of secular stagnation; this topic continued to be debated throughout the post-World War II expansion. Concerns raised during the late 1960s and early 1970s about rapid population growth smothering the potential for economic growth in less developed countries were contradicted when during the mid- and late-1970s, fertility rates in third world countries began to decline very rapidly. Predictions that food production would not be able to keep up with population growth have also been proven wrong, as between 1961 and 2000 calories per capita worldwide have increased by 24 percent, despite the doubling of the global population. The extraordinary economic growth in Southeast and East Asia had also been unforeseen by economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fogel, 2005. "Reconsidering Expectations Of Economic Growth After," NBER Working Papers 11125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11125
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johnson, D. Gale, 1980. "Inflation, Agricultural Output And Productivity," 1980 Annual Meeting, July 27-30, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 278936, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-698, June.
    3. Kravis, Irving B, 1970. "Trade as a Handmaiden of Growth: Similarities between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(323), pages 850-872, December.
    4. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1961. "Capital in the American Economy: Its Formation and Financing," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn61-1.
    5. D. Gale Johnson, 1980. "Inflation, Agricultural Output, and Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 62(5), pages 917-923.
    6. Abramovitz, Moses, 1990. "The Catch-Up Factor in Postwar Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 1-18, January.
    7. Mills, Terence C & Crafts, N F R, 2000. "After the Golden Age: A Long-Run Perspective on Growth Rates That Speeded Up, Slowed Down and Still Differ," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(1), pages 68-91, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2015. "Economic Impossibilities For Our Grandchildren?," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _139, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Geoffrey J. Warren, 2008. "Implications for Asset Pricing Puzzles of a Roll-over Assumption for the Risk-Free Asset-super-," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 8(3-4), pages 125-157.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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