Archive for August, 2007

Gregory Clark, the author of A Farewell to Alms (see 7 August and 10 August posts), has written an article in the New York Sun on Africa. He argues the continent is caught in a “Malthusian trap” in which rising living standards lead to population growth which in turn puts pressure on fixed resources and […]

My review essay on “Towards an age of abundance” has made it onto the Arts & Letters Daily website.

The Library of Economics and Liberty has published a podcast by Paul Romer, one of America’s leading experts economists, on economic growth. The webpage from which it can be downloaded includes lots of useful links including a defence of Thomas Malthus. Romer is the leading advocate of new growth theory – also called endogenous growth […]

Growth sceptics sometimes make the point that life expectancy in America is lower than in many less rich countries. The implication is that countries stop benefiting from greater wealth beyond a certain point. But an article in Real Clear Politics by John Stossel throws a different light on this discussion. He argues that factors such […]

My review essay on “towards an age of abundance” is the lead article in this month’s spiked review of books. It discusses four recent American books on the theme of growth scepticism.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has published a special report on inequality in Asia. It argues that general trend has been for inequality to widen but overall living standards have improved too.: “The overall pattern that therefore emerges is one where a majority of developing Asian countries have seen increases in inequality …. By and […]

One of America’s most prominent economists has questioned China’s rapid growth rates. Lester Thurow, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued in yesterday’s New York Times that China is growing at less than 4% a year rather than the 10% official figure. He gives three reasons to support his argument: * Official figures […]

The Daily Mail, a British tabloid newspaper, leads today with the strange headline: “Blood pressure epidemic spiralling as doctors warn our lifestyle is killing us”. Although it may be true that the number of Britons with high blood pressure is soaring the article clearly lacks perspective. It remains the case that life expectancy is rising […]

The image of the “overworked American” is misleading according to an article in the Boston Globe ( 12 August). It draws on academic work which argues that innovations such as vacuum cleaners and takeout food have yielded enormous time savings over the past 40 years: “(T)oday, these scholars say, we spend far less time on […]

The Economist challenges the common distinction between the diseases of the rich and the diseases of the poor in its current issue (9 August). Poor countries are increasingly suffering as a result of chronic diseases while infectious ones become relatively less important. The main reason for this shift seems to be rising life expectancy in […]