The slowdown in economic growth that started around the turn of century was driven by demographic changes and a shift towards producing services. Those phenomena were a consequence of high living standards, and in the case of demographic change also of expanded opportunities for women to control their careers and family size. Slow growth isn’t something we can fix with policies related to taxes, regulation, inequality, trade, or market power. Moreover, once you appreciate the underlying reasons for slow growth, it becomes apparent there is nothing to fix.
Dietrich Vollrath is Professor of Economics at the University of Houston, where he has been since 2005. He has a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Economics from Brown University. His research interests are in growth and development, with a focus on structural transformation, agricultural productivity, and urbanization.
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