Publication details

Robert J. Gordon – The Rise and Fall of American Growth


BINKA Bohuslav

Year of publication 2018
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description The review brings the main arguments of the book Rise and Fall of American Growth. In the beginning it categorizes the three main approaches to the critique of economic growth, which are then used as a typology for the arguments in the book. The first one claims that conditions for growth are already exploited by the previous phase of growth. The second approach criticizes growth as such, because of its negative effect on both social equity and the environment. The last approach points out that growth is not a useful conceptual tool for indicating a society´s development. While the second approach is not integrated in the book and the third one is partly included, the author mostly focuses on the first critical approach. The author sees the main body of Gordons publication based on the first approach which emphasizes the uniqueness of growth conditions. Those conditions not being timeless, growth cannot sustain itself forever. The main strength of the book is in its collection of empirical historical data from the country which best represents a capitalistic-growth society – the United States-, and in its robust analysis of the main causes of extraordinary economic growth in the years 1920 – 1970 and of the reasons why this extraordinary economic growth will not continue in the future. In the latest phase (from the 1970s), growth did not provide satisfaction of larger part of the society, while at the same time the dynamic of the growth had to slow down.

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