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American Macroeconomic Growth in the Era of Knowledge-Based Progress: The Long-Run Perspective (see Paper No. 01-005 for expanded version)

Aug 1999
Working Paper
By  Moses Abramovitz, Paul A. David

This chapter focuses on the nature of the macroeconomic growth process that has characterized the United States experience, and manifested itself in the changing pace sources of the rise real output per capita in U.S. economy during the past two hundred years. Our main interest is indeed, the twentieth century, but we believe that its major characteristics and the nature of the underlying forces at work are clearly seen in comparisons between the century just past and the one that came before.


A key observation that emerges from the long-term quantitative economic record is that the proximate sources of increases in real gross domestic product per capita in the century between 1889 and 1989 were quite different from those which obtained during the first one hundred years of American national experience. Baldly put, the national economy moved from margin has become more and more dependent upon the acquisition and exploitation of technological and organizational knowledge.

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paul david
paul a. david