THE HISTORY OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THEORY

Economic growth is the increase in the amount of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP. Growth is usually calculated in real terms, i.e. inflation-adjusted terms, in order to net out the effect of inflation on the price of the goods and services produced. In economics, "economic growth" or "economic growth theory" typically refers to growth of potential output, i.e., production at "full employment," which is caused by growth in aggregate demand or observed output.As an area of study, economic growth is generally distinguished from development economics. The former is primarily the study of how countries can advance their economies. The latter is the study of the economic aspects of the development process in low-income countries.

Origins of the concept and theories of economic growth
In 1377, the Arabian economic thinker Ibn Khaldun provided one of the earliest descriptions of economic growth in his famous Muqaddimah (known as Prolegomena in the Western world):

"When civilization [population] increases, the available labor again increases. In turn, luxury again increases in correspondence with the increasing profit, and the customs and needs of luxury increase. Crafts are created to obtain luxury products. The value realized from them increases, and, as a result, profits are again multiplied in the town. Production there is thriving even more than before. And so it goes with the second and third increase. All the additional labor serves luxury and wealth, in contrast to the original labor that served the necessity of life.

Now it is generally recognized that economic growth also corresponds to a process of continual rapid replacement and reorganization of human activities facilitated by investment motivated to maximize returns. This exponential evolution of our self-organized life-support and cultural systems is remarkably creative and flexible, but highly unpredictable in many ways. Since science still has no good way of modeling complex self-organizing systems, various efforts to model the long term evolution of economies have produced few useful results.

Classical growth theory
Creative destruction and economic growth
Many economists view entrepreneurship as having a major influence on a society's rate of technological progress and thus economic growth. Joseph Schumpeter was a key figure in understanding the influence of entrepreneurs on technological progress. In Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, published in 1942, an entrepreneur is a person who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation. Entrepreneurship forces "creative destruction" across markets and industries, simultaneously creating new products and business models. In this way, creative destruction is largely responsible for the dynamism of industries and long-run economic growth. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has described the influence of creative destruction on economic growth as follows: "Capitalism expands wealth primarily through creative destruction—the process by which the cash flow from obsolescent, low-return capital is invested in high-return, cutting-edge technologies."

New growth theory
Growth theory advanced again with the theories of economist Paul Romer in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Other important new growth theorists include Robert E. Lucas and Robert J. Barro.Unsatisfied with Solow's explanation, economists worked to "endogenize" technology in the 1980s. They developed the endogenous growth theory that includes a mathematical explanation of technological advancement. This model also incorporated a new concept of human capital, the skills and knowledge that make workers productive. Unlike physical capital, human capital has increasing rates of return. Therefore, overall there are constant returns to capital, and economies never reach a steady state. Growth does not slow as capital accumulates, but the rate of growth depends on the types of capital a country invests in. Research done in this area has focused on what increases human capital or technological change.
Source :wikipedia

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