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Spring 2000

Nukes Are Still the Worry

Kenneth J. Arrow is a professor of economics at Stanford University. In 1972, he won the Nobel Prize in economics jointly with Sir John Hicks.

Stanford - In response to an invitation to study the challenges of the coming century, it would be most prudent to write from one's field of expertise and greatest knowledge. I am an economist, and the world is full of economic problems. From a broad perspective, however, the last 50 years have been extraordinarily successful. The rate of growth per capita income has certainly been unprecedented in world history, and this in the presence of great population growth. The poor regions of southern Europe have moved to closer parity with their northern brethren, while the previous leaders have attained of undreamed-of heights. Very poor countries, such as Taiwan and Korea, have advanced in rank; China has at least in the last decade moved forward with extraordinary speed; Indonesia, in spite of recent events has made considerable, and even India has shown steady, if slower gains. Latin America is spotty but, by and large, had moved to a higher level. Since China, India, Indonesia have most of the poor people of the world among them, this is growth indeed.

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