Economic growth is the expansion of inflation-adjusted income over time, usually due to growth in population, investment, or innovation. Economic growth has attracted the attention of the effective altruism community both because growth appears to be a highly cost-effective way to reduce global poverty and improve human wellbeing, and because expected rates of economic growth in the coming centuries have, in the words of Future of Humanity Institute researcher Ben Garfinkel, "some bearing on almost every long-run challenge facing the world, from climate change to great power competition to risks from AI."[1]

Further reading

Alexander, Scott (2019) 1960: the year the singularity was cancelled, Slate Star Codex, April 22.

Aschenbrenner, Leopold (2020a) Existential risk and growth, Global Priorities Institute, University of Oxford.

Aschenbrenner, Leopold (2020b) Securing posterity, Works in Progress, October 19.

Davidson, Tom (2021) Report on whether AI could drive explosive economic growth, Open Philanthropy, June 25.

Garfinkel, Ben (2020) Does economic history point toward a singularity?, Effective Altruism Forum, September 2.

Hanson, Robin (2016) The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life When Robots Rule the Earth, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kremer, Michael (1993) Population growth and technological change: one million B.C. to 1990, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 108, pp. 681–716.

Nordhaus, William D. (2021) Are we approaching an economic singularity? Information technology and the future of economic growth, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, vol. 13, pp. 299–332.

Roser, Max (2021) What is economic growth? And why is it so important?, Our World in Data, May 13.

Roodman, David (2020) On the probability distribution of long-term changes in the growth rate of the global economy: an outside view, Open Philanthropy.

von Foerster, Heinz, Patricia M. Mora & Lawrence W. Amiot (1960) Doomsday: Friday, 13 November, A.D. 2026, Science, vol. 132, pp. 1291–1295.

Wiblin, Robert & Keiran Harris (2018) Economics Prof Tyler Cowen says our overwhelming priorities should be maximising economic growth and making civilisation more stable. Is he right?, 80,000 Hours, October 17.

differential progress | economics | economics of artificial intelligence | global poverty | population declinescientific progress | speeding up development

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    Garfinkel, Ben (2020) Does economic history point toward a singularity?, Effective Altruism Forum, September 2.