Tim Harford on *The Great Stagnation*

In the FT magazine, here is the end bit:

In short, if Cowen is right, there will be less growth in future unless a new wave of technology arrives, and our political institutions will have to cope, if they can. The same argument surely applies to western Europe too, and will come as no news to Japan.

And the solution? I am not sure, and neither is Cowen. He hopes to raise the status of scientists and researchers – a good idea, but how? The UK coalition plans to introduce charter schools; we shall have to see whether that delivers results. The government is also reducing subsidies for universities and, indirectly, for public libraries. Both those policies are probably progressive: universities (certainly) and libraries (probably) tend to be middle-class haunts. But if the great stagnation is the problem, making access to knowledge more expensive is surely not much of a solution.


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