Random Growth Links

NOTE: The Growth Economics Blog has moved sites. Click here to find this post at the new site.

Just a few interesting things to think about:

  1. I feel like the Einstellung effect is something that could be worked into some sort of model of technology adoption. “…the Einstellung effect operates by biasing attention towards problem features that are associated with the familiar solution rather than the optimal solution.”
  2. An example of why I’m still a techno-optimist in general. “Dubbed the compact fusion reactor (CFR), the device is conceptually safer, cleaner and more powerful than much larger, current nuclear systems that rely on fission, the process of splitting atoms to release energy……The superhot plasma is controlled by strong magnetic fields that prevent it from touching the sides of the vessel and, if the confinement is sufficiently constrained, the ions overcome their mutual repulsion, collide and fuse.”
  3. Don’t confuse welfare (or utility) with happiness. People trying to maximize welfare take happiness into account, but not just happiness.
  4. Related to this, never underestimate the endowment effect. People hate losing *way* more than they love winning.
  5. Malnutrition and the necessity of pollinators (e.g. bees) are highly correlated. “Crops vary in the degree to which they benefit from pollinators, and many of the most pollinator-dependent crops are also among the richest in micronutrients essential to human health. This study examines regional differences in the pollinator dependence of crop micronutrient content and reveals overlaps between this dependency and the severity of micronutrient deficiency in people around the world.”
  6. Do we dare question economic growth? Yes, yes we do. There are all sorts of reasons that progress and technological advancement do not necessarily imply GDP growth – and we could certainly see future growth involving declining input usage rather than expanding output production.

2 thoughts on “Random Growth Links

  1. The Einstellung effect might be useful to think about differences between young and old workers in terms of creativity and/or technology adoption. While experience makes workers more productive in some sectors/activities, it might be harmful in those that are by nature highly disruptive of the status quo. This relates a bit with the work of Bruce Weinberg on the age-productivity profile of painters and labor economists.

    It’s a highly relevant issue given that the workforce is aging rapidly throughout the world.

  2. I think that the development community should stay well away from the idea of GNH. In the mind of the public it means folk don’t need development aid. It would be a difficult task to convince the public otherwise. Instead they should continue to concentrate on GDP and per capita income.

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