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Noah Smith

The Price Americans Pay for Slow Growth

Imagine: The nation could be a third richer by 2050.
A little more growth would go a long way.

A little more growth would go a long way.

Photographer: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Is slow economic growth here to stay? Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ben Leubsdorf reports that this may be the case:

Actually, the U.S. growth slowdown is far less dramatic than these numbers would seem to indicate, because they are not adjusted for population. Once we do that, we find that real GDP per capita rose at a 2.2 percent annualized rate between 1947 and 2000, and at a 1.4 percent rate since the end of the recession. Slower population growth, therefore, accounts for almost half of the growth slowdown.