Why has economic growth slowed down?

Since well before the financial crisis and recession of 2009, economic growth in the U.S. (as well as many other rich countries) slowed relative to the 20th century. That slow economic growth is due in large part to slower growth in productivity, and that slower growth in productivity started even before the financial crisis. The materials here discuss how to measure productivity growth, why you should be careful in confusing productivity with “innovation” or “technology”, and what the prospects are for growth in the future.

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External Links



  1. 2018.   Hopenhayn, Hugo and Neira, Julian and Singhania, Rish.   "From Population Growth to Firm Demographics, Implications for Concentration, Entrepreneurship and the Labor Share". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  2. 2017.   Syverson, Chad.   "Challenges to Mismeasurement Explanations for the US Productivity Slowdown".   Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2):165-86.   Link
  3. 2017.   John G. Fernald and Robert E. Hall and James H. Stock and Mark W. Watson.   "The Disappointing Recovery of Output after 2009". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  4. 2017.   Fatih Guvenen and Raymond J. Mataloni, Jr. and Dylan G. Rassier and Kim J. Ruhl.   "Offshore Profit Shifting and Domestic Productivity Measurement". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  5. 2016.   Robert J. Gordon.   The Rise and Fall of American Growth. Princeton University Press   Link
  6. 2014.   John G. Fernald and Charles I. Jones.   "The Future of US Economic Growth".   American Economic Review, 104(5):44-49.   Link
  7. 2014.   Robert J. Gordon.   "A New Method of Estimating Potential Real GDP Growth, Implications for the Labor Market and the Debt/GDP Ratio". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  8. 2014.   John Fernald.   "Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  9. 2014.   Robert J. Gordon.   "The Demise of U.S. Economic Growth, Restatement, Rebuttal, and Reflections". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  10. 2012.   William J. Baumol.   The Cost Disease, Why Computers Get Cheaper but Healthcare Doesn't. Yale University Press
  11. 2012.   Robert J. Gordon.   "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  12. 2007.   James Feyrer.   "Demographics and Productivity".   The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1):100-109.   Link
  13. 2006.   Miles S. Kimball and John G. Fernald and Susanto Basu.   "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?".   American Economic Review, 96(5):1418-1448.   Link
  14. 2001.   Dalgaard, Carl-Johan and Kreiner, Claus T..   "Is declining productivity inevitable?".   Journal of Economic Growth, 6(3):187--203.
  15. 1967.   William J. Baumol.   "Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth, The Anatomy of Urban Crisis".   The American Economic Review, 57(3):415-426.   Link
  16. 1965.   W. J. Baumol and W. G. Bowen.   "On the Performing Arts, The Anatomy of Their Economic Problems".   The American Economic Review, 55(1/2):495-502.   Link

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