Re: Why growth may stay slow

Dan Clemmensen (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 18:42:45 -0500

Robin Hanson wrote:

> If productivity can improve very quickly even while the rate of return on
> investment (ROI) stays low, then my argument for low ROI does not imply slow
> growth in productivity.

Thanks for the clarification. I'm interested in growth of the corpus of technical
knowledge and its rate of increase. Your argument appears to apply to growth
of the measured economic value of the technology, and may be very valid.
Leading edge technical products los value very quickly. This is also true of a lot
of leading edge intellectual property. This may mean that your slow (economic)
growth and my explosive (technical) growth occuring concurrently.

I'm sure you are aware of the recent reports of a fear of deflation, and I'm sure
you understand them better than I. However, technical areas the technological
deflation is far greater than the economic deflation. As I understand it, one major

reason tht deflation is "bad" is that consumers will defer pruchases to wait for
price to come down, but for PCS and other hi-tech items, the price is coming down
anyway and always has been.