What will economic growth look like in the 21st century? Mark Bahner solicited answers to this question from many economists and pundits, but only a few replied. Bahner’s predictions are relatively optimistic. He foresees worldwide average GDP per capita rising from $6500 in 2000 to $100,000 in 2070.

In my opinion, any prediction of world per-capita GDP growth that’s less than the 2.2% per year that was the average for the 20th century is probably too low. The 20th century had 2 world wars, a Great Depression, and a great many countries mired in communism for most of the century. I don’t expect any of those things for the 21st century.

Bahner also believes that if one accepts Ray Kurzweil’s extrapolations of Moore’s Law, with computer power continuing to double every two years or so, then economic growth has to accelerate. I agree that if we take Moore’s Law seriously then economic growth will reach staggering levels in the next few decades.

My own prediction was even more optimistic than Bahner’s.

For Discussion. Will improvements in computer power continue to translate into faster overall economic growth?