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ECON Reflection Paper (400-500 words)Do not Summarize! This is an Reflection Paper!!

Electronic copy available at: Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale University Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2021 ARE WE APPROACHING AN ECONOMIC SINGULARITY? INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH William D. Nordhaus September 2015 An author index to the working papers in the Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper Series is located at: This paper can be downloaded without charge from the Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection: 2658259
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Electronic copy available at: 1 Are We Approaching an Economic Singularity? Information Technology and the Future of Economic Growth William D. Nordhaus 1 September 1, 2015 Abstract What are the prospects for long-run economic growth? The present study looks at a recently launched hypothesis, which I label Singularity . The idea here is that rapid growth in computation and artificial intelligence will cross some boundary or Singularity after which economic growth will accelerate sharply as an ever-accelerating pace of improvements cascade through the economy. The paper develops a growth model that features Singularity and presents several tests of whether we are rapidly approaching Singularity. The key question for Singularity is the substitutability between information and conventional inputs. The tests suggest that the Singularity is not near. I. Introduction What are the prospects for long-run economic growth? One prominent line of economic thinking is the trend toward stagnation. Stagnationism has a long history in economics, beginning prominently with Malthus and surfacing occasionally in different guises. Prominent themes here are the following: Will economic growth slow and perhaps even reverse under the weight of resource depletion? Will overpopulation and diminishing returns lower living standards? Will unchecked CO 2 emissions lead to catastrophic changes in climate and ecosystems? Have we 1 The author is Sterling Professor of Economics; Cowles Foundation, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. Mailing address: P. O. Box 208268, Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06511-8268, USA. Email: [email protected] . The author declares no financial conflict. Version is Singularity_090115.docx.
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Subject: Business, Economics

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