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“Are we approaching an economic singularity?”

New paper here by William Nordhaus (Nobel Prize winner in economics) titled, “Are we approaching an economic singularity? Information Technology and the Future of Economic Growth”. Working paper link is here. I plan to read the paper in the near future but here’s Paul Christiano summarising it and making some interesting comments on the EA … Continue reading “Are we approaching an economic singularity?”

Happy Smallpox Eradication Day!

Before going further, briefly pause to ask yourself, how many people were killed by Smallpox? The answer, is approximately 500 million. On December 9th, 1979, Smallpox was eradicated. Celebrating Smallpox eradication day is a great reminder of human ingenuity (although, some celebrate it in May). It’s also a reminder that often people who do a … Continue reading Happy Smallpox Eradication Day!

“Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know” by Ronald Bailey and Marian Tupy

This post will review/summarise a new book on progress that was recently released, “Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know” by Ronald Bailey and Marian Tupy. They begin the book with an interesting poll conducted by YouGov in 2016 spanning 17 countries. I’ll pose the question asked in the poll to readers here: Only … Continue reading “Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know” by Ronald Bailey and Marian Tupy

A silver lining: do we have more trees now than in 1982?

A very commonly held opinion is that the number of trees in the world are decreasing over time. Indeed, that’s the opinion I held until recently. On the FAO’s website, it states: “Since 1990, it is estimated that 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses, although the rate … Continue reading A silver lining: do we have more trees now than in 1982?

Patent Buyouts

Recently I had a conversation with a reader/supporter of the blog. One of the things we talked about was a great 1998 paper, “Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation.” by Michael Kremer, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2019, together with Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee. Like the policy I wrote about … Continue reading Patent Buyouts

Progress Studies Assorted Links 2

Tony Blair and Chris Yiu write on the need for progress. “The Baker Hypothesis” a new (NBER) economics working paper by Chari, Henry, and Reyes. They find that in emerging and developing economies, the average rate of real GDP growth is higher after countries adopt ‘free-market policies’ such as: inflation stabilisation, trade liberalisation, greater openness … Continue reading Progress Studies Assorted Links 2

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