“THE GOLDEN AGE OF GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH…HAS MOSTLY SURVIVED.” Arvind Subramanian had an article in the Financial Times (April 8) in which he says: “…the golden age of global economic growth…has mostly survived.” Subramanian acknowledges the “cheerless” economic news from Europe and the United States. Nevertheless, he has an optimistic view based on the economic growth rates in poorer countries around the world. When I was a graduate student some fifty years ago, we were deeply interested in “development economics”, and the alleviation of poverty in what were then called “underdeveloped countries”. For a long time it seemed that economic development was disappointing. Subramanian notes that from 1960 to 2000 there were about 20 poor countries (excluding oil producers) that grew faster than the United States (including Japan, Korea, Singapore, China and India. Then in about 2000 some 80 countries began to grow at a pace of about 4.5% a year. From 2008 to 2010, that pace has declined to about 3% a year. That is, growth is continuing in much of the world—a state of affairs that for much of my life seemed unlikely.

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