Re: A wee glimpse of the singularity?

Robin Hanson (
Thu, 15 Apr 1999 09:20:07 -0700

Max M Rasmussen pointed us to:
>Article in NY Times

        ... Yet today, even renowned skeptics on the subject of
        technology's contribution to the economy, like Solow,
        are having second thoughts. Productivity growth has
        picked up, starting in 1996, capped by a surge in the
        second half of last year, after eight years of economic
        expansion. That has drawn attention because past
        upward swings in productivity typically occurred early
        in a recovery as economic activity rebounded. Once
        companies increased hiring, it slowed again. ...
        The question, posed by economists, is whether the
        higher productivity growth, averaging about 2 percent in
        the last three years, roughly double the pace from 1973
        to 1995, is the long-awaited confirmation that the
        nation's steadily rising investment in computers and
        communications is finally paying off. The evidence is
        starting to point in that direction. 

This is the time to make your predictions, if you want to say "I told you so" later. Is this a blip or the start of a trend? What will be the average measured productivity growth in 2000 to 2005? In 2005 to 2010? 1%? 2%? 3%? 5% 10? I've said what I can say at .

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884 after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.