Society is faced with a profound dilemma. To resist growth is to risk economic and social collapse. To pursue it relentlessly is to endanger the ecosystems on which we depend for long-term survival. For the most part, this dilemma goes unrecognised in mainstream policy. It’s only marginally more visible as a public debate. When reality begins to impinge on the collective consciousness, the best suggestion to hand is that we can somehow ‘decouple’ growth from its material impacts. And continue to do so while the economy expands exponentially.
Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, or Introduction to History, contains some of the earliest consideration of the impact of economic factors on the course of human history. This makes it an illuminating source of reference when considering the future growth of economics.
Over the last two decades, the Human Development Index has gained tremendous popularity, challenging the notion that economic growth indicators alone can univocally account for human development. But is the use of a composite index better than several independent measures of human development?
Francesco Caselli is professor for economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Director of the Macroeconomics Program of their Center for Economic Performance (CEP). He talked with The Transatlantic about the idea of a National resource curse, about the construction of appropriate economic models and many other issues.
The People’s Republic of China emerging as the world’s second largest economy has shifted a longstanding paradigm of global economic superpowers. However, there is alarm that China’s runaway growth can overheat its economy. What can China do to ensure healthy, long term, positive growth?