Monday, March 31, 2003

Thus, trends in real wages measured in dollars per hour would show an even more dramatic improvement than the income growth shown in Figure 6. However, even these trends would substantially underestimate the true improvements in wages because methods to convert current dollars in one year to real dollars in another are not robust when there has been a vast technological change between the two years. Goods and services available in the year 1950, for instance, were vastly different from those available in 1995. Personal computers, cell phones, VCRs, and instant access to the Library of Congress’s electronic catalogue, to mention a few, simply were not available in 1950. Today, for a few hundred dollars people can buy goods and services they could not buy for all the money in the world a generation or two ago.

Indur Goklany, “Economic Growth and Human Well-Being” in Sustainable Development: Promoting Progress or Perpetuating Poverty?, edited by Julian Morris (31-32)

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