Thinking about Growth: And Other Essays on Economic Growth and Welfare

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The essays in this book explore the forces behind modern economic growth and, in particular, the causes of the extraordinary surge of growth since the Second World War. The introductory essay is an extended treatment of the current views of economists on the growth process and its causes. Other essays consider the contributions of capital formation, education, and the changing character of industries and occupations. These essays disclose the central role of technological progress, take up the relations of science, technology, and business, and discuss the conditions that make for investment in research and the widespread exploitation of new knowledge. They show how Japan and Europe had an unusual opportunity after the war to advance rapidly by following in paths of technology and industrial organization pursued earlier by the United States, and how a remarkable set of circumstances and policies governing trade, investment, population migration, and money worked together to sustain rapid and concerted growth for many years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The 13 essays assembled in this collection are the fruit of 40 years of study of the process of economic growth here [in the U.S.] and in Japan and Western Europe by a preeminent scholar of the subject. The first of the four parts deals with the change in economists' approach to the phenomenon over this period. Five essays in the second part analyze the proximate causes of long-term economic change, including the contributions of capital formation, education, and technology. The third part comprises two celebrated essays on long swings in U.S. economic growth. The final section deals with growth and welfare." Anna J. Schwartz in the Key Reporter

"This is a splendid book, informative, well argued, well written, literate, and illuminating. Professor Abramovitz is a masterful economist and the consummate empiricist. This book illustrates his command of both technique and careful interpretation of empirical data." Edward N. Wolff in the Journal of Economic Literature

"This book is the distilled wisdom of decades of scholarly endeavor...Like Montaigne, Abramovitz is a master of the essay as a vehicle to stimulate interest and present new insights. His rigour and clarity are beautifully illustrated in the 24 page review of Denison's seminal work." Angus Maddison, Southern Economic Journal

"...this is a collection of essays on growth by a pioneer in its measurement and interpretation, highly recommended to economists of all persuasions. Some of the essays should become required reading for students of economic growth in these days of theory without measurement." Economic Development and Cultural Change

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Editors' preface; Preface; Part I. Growth and the Economists: 1. Thinking about growth; 2. Economics of growth; Part II. Studies in Long-Term Growth: 3. Resource and Output Trends in the United States since 1870; 4. Economic growth in the United States: a review article; 5. Manpower, capital, and technology; 6. Rapid growth potential and its realization: the experience of capitalist economies in the postwar period; 7. Catching up, forging ahead, and falling behind; Part III. Long Swings in Economic Growth: 8. The nature and significance of Kuznets cycles; 9. The passing of the Kuznets cycle; Part IV. Growth and Welfare: 10. Economic goals and social welfare in the next generation; 11. Growing up in an affluent society; 12. The retreat from economic advance: changing ideas about economic progress; 13. Welfare quandaries and productivity concerns.

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