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Economic Growth

1. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

Learning Objectives

Define economic growth and explain it using the production possibilities model and the concept of potential output.

State the rule of 72 and use it to show how even small differences in growth rates can have major effects on a country’s potential output over time.

Calculate the percentage rate of growth of output per capita.

1.2 The Rule of 72 and Differences in Growth Rates

- Exponential growth occurs when a quantity grows at a given percentage rate.
- The rule of 72 states that a variable’s approximate doubling time equals 72 divided by the growth rate, stated as a whole number.

1.3 Growth in Output per Capita

- Output per capitais real GDP per person.

EQUATION 1.1

Output per capita = real GDP

N

EQUATION 1.2

% rate of growth of output per capita

≈

% rate of growth of output - % rate of growth of population

Differences in Growth Rates: 3.5% growth vs. 2.4% growth

Third doubling

Real GDP, 3.5 percent growth

Second doubling

First doubling

Second doubling

Real GDP, 2.4 percent growth

First doubling

2. GROWTH AND THE LONG-RUN AGGREGATE SUPPLY CURVE

Learning Objectives

Explain and illustrate graphically the concept of the aggregate production function. Explain how its shape relates to the concept of diminishing marginal returns.

Derive the long-run aggregate supply curve from the model of the labor market and the aggregate production function.

Explain how the long-run aggregate supply curve shifts in responses to shifts in the aggregate production function or to shifts in the demand for or supply of labor.

2.1 The Aggregate Production Function.

- The Aggregate production function is a function that relates the total output of an economy to the total amount of labor employed in the economy, all other determinants of production (capital, natural resources, and technology) being unchanged.
- Diminishing marginal returns refers to a situation that occurs when additional units of a variable factor add less and less to total output, given constant quantities of other factors.

2.2 The Aggregate Production Function, the Market for Labor, and Long-Run Aggregate Supply

- Productivity is the amount of output per worker
- Productivity = Quantity/Labor

C

PF

B

A

Shift in the Aggregate Production Function and the Long-Run Aggregate Supply Curve

LRAS1

LRAS2

PF2

Y2

S1

PF1

Y1

w2

w1

D2

D1

L1

L2

L1

L2

Y1

Y2

Increase in the Supply of Labor and the Long-Run Aggregate Supply Curve

LRAS1

LRAS2

S2

S1

PF1

Y2

Y1

w1

w2

D1

L1

L2

L1

L2

Y1

Y2

3. DETERMINANTS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

Learning Objectives

Discuss the sources of economic growth.

Discuss possible reasons why countries grow at different rates.

3.1 The Sources of Economic Growth

- Economic growth occurs as an outward shift in the production possibilities curve and as a shift to the right in long run aggregate supply.
- Sources of growth in the U.S. in the 20th century
- Increased labor and physical capital
- Improved factor of production quality and technology
- Increased savings

3.2 Explaining Recent Disparities in Growth Rates

- There has been a growing disparity in the rates of economic growth in industrialized countries in the last decade which may reflect various differences in economic structures and policies.
- For OECD_24 countries, standard deviation of GDP per capita growth increased in the last two decades of the 20th century
- Standard deviation 1980-1990 was 0.74
- Standard deviation 1990-2000 was 1.17
- If we just look at the last 4 years of the 20th century we see an even larger standard deviation.
- Standard deviation 1996-2000 was 1.37

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