Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Adam Smith and the Great Deceleration in the U,S. Economy

Gerdes, William (2013): Adam Smith and the Great Deceleration in the U,S. Economy. Published in: The American Economist No. Fall 2013

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From Adam Smith’s perspective, the most prominent macroeconomic happening of the post-World War II period was not the Great Moderation, nor was it the recent Great Recession. Instead, it was the secular deceleration in economic growth occurring in the U.S., or the Great Deceleration. Smith’s growth theory and his measure of aggregate output are employed in analyzing and documenting this Great Deceleration. From Smith’s perspective, the most likely causal forces are the same ones that were retarding economic growth in eighteenth-century England: government command over resources and also its growth-inhibiting policies. On a positive note, Smith would consider the Great Deceleration as reversible.

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