RE: Savings in a Fast-Growth Economy

Billy Brown (
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 13:01:05 -0500

Robin Hanson wrote:
> Happy to comment, but I'm not sure what the question is here exactly..
> (I said a lot at

I think the question is, given:

  1. A future in which lifespans become very long (>200 years).
  2. At least reasonably good (by current standards) economic conditions.
  3. A population in which a majority of people over age 50 wish to retire.

Is there anything we can say about the likelihood of their being able to do so? We can readily see that compound interest will allow individuals to amass substantial sums of money over the course of several decades, so with decent interest rates the answer would seem to be yes. However, it was suggested that such a large pool of savings might cause interest rates to collapse, due to a relative shortage of profitable investment opportunities.

That doesn't appear to be likely in a fast-growth economy, but what about other likely scenarios? For that matter, what are the more likely scenarios?

Billy Brown, MCSE+I