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International Seminar Series: Secular Stagnation- Is Economic Growth a Matter of the Past?
Title of Presentation: Secular Stagnation: Is Economic Growth a Matter of the Past?
Speaker: Joel Mokyr, Ph.D., Robert H. Strortz Professor of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University
Presentation Overview: In recent years, economists have revived the specter of slow growth and secular stagnation. From the point of view of economic history, what should we make of such doomster prophecies? As economic historians all know, for 97 percent of recorded history, the stationary state well-describes the long-run dynamics of the world economy. Growth was slow, intermittent, and reversible. The Industrial Revolution rang in a period of sustained economic growth. Is that growth sustainable? One way to come to grips with that question is to analyze the brakes on economic growth before the Industrial Revolution and how they were released. Once these mechanisms are identified, we can look at the economic history of the past few decades and make an assessment of how likely growth is to continue. The answer I give is simple: there is no technological reason for growth in economic welfare to slow down, although institutions may become in some area a serious concern on the sustainability of growth.
Speaker Bio: Joel Mokyr is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University and Sackler Professor (by special appointment) at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv. He specializes in economic history and the economics of technological change and population change. He is the author of Why Ireland Starved: An Analytical and Quantitative Study of the Irish Economy, The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective, The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy, and The Enlightened Economy: an Economic history of Britain, 1700-1850. His most recent book is A Culture of Growth, published by Princeton University Press in 2016. He has authored over 100 articles and books in his field.
Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.
Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.
International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public, and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The spring 2018 series will focus on Europe in a global context.