HOMEMASS MEDIAXavier in the NewsA Few More Thoughts on 'Rational Optimism'
10 September 2010
A Few More Thoughts on 'Rational Optimism'
Mass media - News Sala i Martín

Paul Solman: A few words of thanks for, and comments on, the ever-so-talented Mr. Ridley's online replies to viewer questions. The q-and-a is much appreciated. Especially this paragraph on economic growth: "It is the combination of atoms, electrons and thoughts in ways that help supply us with what we need and I see no theoretical limit to the number of ways we can do this (I owe this idea to Paul Romer)."

Paul Romer once spelled out this idea for us in an interview, the relevant excerpt from which is reproduced below.

While I share much of Matt's general optimism, as I wrote here in May, I think his -- or rather the Pinkovskiy/Sala-i-Martin -- assessment of world inequality trends may be overly sanguine. The poorest of the poor have been Prof. Sala-i-Martin's subject for years. The data, however, are often sketchy. Assuming the world's poorest have dramatically improved their lot, that would almost surely tend to reduce inequality. On the other hand, the rising inequality in the world's richer countries -- for decades now -- prompts the worry that wealth past a certain point triggers a reversal of leveling trend [...]

Link to the article