Global living standards are improving

In: Uncategorized

23 Feb 2008

A new paper (PDF) by Andrei Shleifer, a professor of economics at Harvard, gives some useful statistics on the general rise in global living standards since 1980. To quote the introduction: “The last quarter century has witnessed remarkable progress of mankind. The world’s per capita inflation-adjusted income rose from $5400 in 1980 to $8500 in 2005.Schooling and life expectancy grew rapidly, while infant mortality and poverty fell just as fast.” I do not accept the generally free market thrust of his conclusions but he is broadly right on the facts of development. Of course things could be better still than they are now.

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