“Authoritarianism” should not get credit for catchup growth

“Authoritarianism” should not get credit for catchup growth.

If that does not make sense to you, read up about the Solow Model and variants thereof. If you do not understand the Solow Model (nearly the simplest possible presentation of how growth occurs in the long run), then you will not understand the relevance.

 

Say, China growing from $300 annual income per capita to $10,000 annual income per capita, at a time when many other countries had per capita income many many times higher, is not evidence that countries that are already at $50,000 annual income per capita have anything to learn from the Chinese.

Of course, it would be absurd, a priori, to think that we have nothing to learn from the Chinese. Just, on this subject, really probably not much at all. Probably very close to zero. After all, we’re still 5 times richer than them (per capita). So why would we think they have anything to teach us? Certainly not humility, for example.

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