The reading list below is based on a reading list originally used for an internal GPI reading group in spring 2021, organized by Phil Trammell and Leopold Aschenbrenner, and on the ETGP 2022 syllabus, also organized by Phil. I also added a few resources I deemed relevant on some of the topics below, but the credit for almost all of these resources goes to Phil and Leopold.

My suggested usage for this reading list is in conjunction with, and as a complement to, the slides for the first week of ETGP 2022 (available here), as the course was specifically designed to teach economic theory in a global prioritization context. As such, the structure of the reading list matches that of the course.

Disclaimer: The views presented in the readings suggested below do not necessarily represent views held by the reading group organizers, me, GPI, or any other GPI staff member.


There are two main reasons why growth theory is particularly relevant for EAs. First, growth models allow for a lot of flexibility regarding which factors are included in the model, and which timescale one uses to evaluate the effects of changes in these factors. These characteristics make growth models useful even if one is ultimately only interested in factors other than economic growth, like AI or climate change. Second, economic growth plays a central role in the contemporary world, in a way that understanding its dynamics is likely key for global prioritization.

1. Introduction and basic models

2. Accumulation-based models and growth versus level effects

3. Scale effects in researcher-based models

4. Existential risk and growth

5. Long-run historical growth

6. The mechanics of the industrial revolution “phase change”

7. AI and growth

8. Stagnation

9. Growth and human happiness

10. Inequality and growth


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1 comment, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:06 AM

Thanks a lot for making this! I just started research on something Econ growth adjacent and this reading list could come in handy. So I really appreciate it.