The Future of U.S. Economic Growth

13 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014 Last revised: 13 Mar 2015

See all articles by John G. Fernald

John G. Fernald

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Charles I. Jones

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

Modern growth theory suggests that more than 3/4 of growth since 1950 reflects rising educational attainment and research intensity. As these transition dynamics fade, U.S. economic growth is likely to slow at some point. However, the rise of China, India, and other emerging economies may allow another few decades of rapid growth in world researchers. Finally, and more speculatively, the shape of the idea production function introduces a fundamental uncertainty into the future of growth. For example, the possibility that artificial intelligence will allow machines to replace workers to some extent could lead to higher growth in the future.

Suggested Citation

Fernald, John G. and Jones, Charles I., The Future of U.S. Economic Growth (January 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w19830. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384289

John G. Fernald (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
415-974-2135 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.frbsf.org/economics/economists/jfernald.html

Charles I. Jones

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

Stanford GSB
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-4800
United States
650-725-9265 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~chadj

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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