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Frank & Bernanke. Ch. 8: Economic Growth, Productivity, and Living Standards. Source:\_id=346598. Source:\_290\_1\_1.html.

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frank bernanke

Frank & Bernanke

Ch. 8: Economic Growth, Productivity, and Living Standards


compound interest
Compound Interest
  • Suppose you put $100 in a savings account for your retirement. How much would you have in 50 years?
  • You need to know the interest rate.
  • At 1%, the savings at the end of one year will be: 100 + 100*.01 = 100 (1+.01) = 101.
  • At the end of two years, the savings will be: 100(1.01) + 100(1.01)(.01) = 100(1.01)(1.01) = 100 (1.01)2
impact on living standards
Impact on Living Standards
  • GDP per capita grew at a rate of 2% per year for US during the last 50 years.
  • Japanese GDP per capita grew at a rate of 5% during the same period.
  • Chinese GDP per capita grew about 8% per year the last twenty years.
real gdp per capita
Real GDP per Capita
  • Real GDP per capita is found by dividing the Real GDP by the population: Y/POP.
  • We can rewrite Y/POP as Y/N times N/POP, since the Ns would cancel out when the two terms are multiplied.
  • Y/N is average labor productivity.
  • N/POP is employed portion of the population.
growth rate of y pop
Growth Rate of Y/POP
  • Percentage growth of Y/POP will be equal to percentage growth of Y/N (Average Labor Productivity) PLUS N/POP (Share of population employed).
  • We can get these numbers for US from government web sites: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
us experience and forecast
US Experience and Forecast
  • Why did N/POP increase during the last 30 years?
  • What is expected for the future of N/POP?
  • How can US expect to raise average living standards in the future?
determinants of average labor productivity
Determinants of Average Labor Productivity
  • Human Capital
  • Physical Capital
  • Natural Resources
  • Technology
  • Entrepreneurship and Management
  • Political and Legal Environment
human capital
Human Capital
  • Human capital of workers includes the
    • Talents
    • Education
    • Training
    • Skills
physical capital
Physical Capital
  • Quantity and quality of machines, tools, equipment and buildings affect the productivity of labor.
    • How productive is a computer programmer without a computer?
    • Using MB vs. MC principle to allocate machinery.
    • Diminishing returns reduces the MB for the next machine.
natural resources
Natural Resources
  • Abundant land, energy, raw materials will allow inputs to be cheap for producing certain products, giving a country comparative advantage in these products.
  • Free trade practically frees a country from the yoke of lack of natural resources.
  • New technologies that increase the productivity of labor is commonplace in our age.
  • New ways of organizing, presenting, sequencing, etc. are also considered technological advances.
  • Technological improvements in one area may have positive spillover effects in another industry.
entrepreneurship and management
Entrepreneurship and Management
  • Entrepreneurs take risks to introduce new products, new processes into the economy.
  • Societies that provide secure property rights, low and predictable taxation and independent, incorruptible legal system support the flourishing of entrepreneurial activity. (See M. Olson, Power and Prosperity.)
entrepreneurship and management1
Entrepreneurship and Management
  • China in the Middle Ages was far superior to the West technologically. However, the social system stifled economic growth: application of technology to production.
  • Management is every day operation of the establishment. Education is supposed to reduce the incidences of wrong decisions in everyday operations.
political and legal environment
Political and Legal Environment
  • It is the function of the government to provide an environment where individuals and firms are not subjected to arbitrary rules, increasing the uncertainty of efforts.
  • Enforceable contracts, well-defined property rights, political and social environment conducive to taking risks in production are responsibilities of governments.
  • Soviet example.
worldwide productivity slowdown
Worldwide Productivity Slowdown
  • Starting with 1973, industrialized nation experienced a significant productivity slowdown.
  • Slow growth brings social problems.
  • Redistribution can exacerbate these problems.
why did productivity slow down
Why Did Productivity Slow Down?
  • Decline in public education?
  • Oil price shocks?
  • Poor measurement of productivity gains in service sector?
  • The exceptional experience of the 50s and 60s?
costs of economic growth
Costs of Economic Growth
  • Resources allocated to capital formation will reduce production of consumer goods.
  • Unsanitary, unsafe conditions for industrial workers (historical for US, current for many LDCs).
  • Is the sacrifice today, worth better living conditions tomorrow?
how to increase growth rates
How to Increase Growth Rates?
  • The factors that determine average labor productivity may be enhanced by public policy.
policies to increase human capital
Policies to Increase Human Capital
  • Education increases human capital.
  • Why does the government provide “free” K-12 education?
    • Positive externalities: Private demand does not capture all the societal benefits.
  • Who should decide the content of curriculum?
policies to promote saving and investment
Policies to Promote Saving and Investment
  • Capital stock in a country increases through investment activities.
  • Investments require resources diverted from consumption goods to capital goods.
  • If consumers do not restrict their consumption (if they don’t save) total expenditures will exceed the value of production and inflation will ensue.
policies to promote saving and investment1
Policies to Promote Saving and Investment
  • High rates of saving allow a country to channel resources into capital formation.
  • Governments can pass laws to promote saving and laws to promote investment.
  • Governments also can create capital stock directly (how does it pay?)
policies to support r d
Policies to Support R&D
  • Public good aspect of knowledge reduces private investment in knowledge.
  • Collective decision-making is required for activities with higher social benefits than individual benefits, e.g. basic research.
legal and political framework
Legal and Political Framework
  • Political stability
  • Free and open exchange of ideas
  • Secure property rights
  • Well functioning legal system
  • Free markets (except for those with significant externalities)
limits to growth
Limits to Growth?
  • Will we run out of oil (natural resources)?
    • Market mechanisms: price incentives
  • Will we spoil the environment completely?
    • Change in tastes and preferences
  • Can we solve the global warming problem?
    • Limits to collective decision-making.
commodity prices
Commodity Prices

FIRST published in 1864, with figures stretching back to 1845, The Economist's commodity-price index is probably the world's oldest regularly published price index. Since October 2001, our dollar-based industrials index has risen by 76%, fuelled by Chinese demand for raw materials and, in part, the weakness of the dollar. Yet in real terms, industrial commodity prices are a mere 30% of their value in 1845