The Clear Expectation of Cultural Betterment in the Face of Rising Living Standards
33 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 26, 2021
Rising Real Gross Domestic Product Per Capita data indicates rises in living standards. Nonetheless, cultural pessimism is the received view. This paper makes a series of arguments that we should expect our cultural products (e.g. art or cuisine) to be on an upwards trajectory, just as RGDP per capita is. To do so, I expand on Bill James’s “Peripheral Quality Indicia” in order to argue that analogous indicators for our cultural products strongly suggest that they have improved. I also claim that RGDP per capita is itself a peripheral quality indicium for essentially any good in the economy. I then sketch the conditions under which cultural products are actually lower in quality today than they were in previous periods to demonstrate their general unlikelihood.
Keywords: Living Standards, Cultural Economics
JEL Classification: Z11; Z18; O49; O00; P10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation