The World our Grandchildren Will Inherit: The Rights Revolution and Beyond
Following on Keynes's Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren, this paper develops conjectures about the world we will leave to our grandchildren. It starts by outlining the 10 most important trends that have defined our economic, social, and political lives over the last 100 years. It then provides a framework for interpreting these trends, emphasizing the role of the expansion of political and civil rights and institutional changes in this process. It then uses this framework for extrapolating these 10 trends into the next 100 years.
I thank David Autor, Tim Besley, Tarek Hassan, Timur Kuran, Erik Meyersson, Joel Mokyr, Suresh Naidu, James Poterba, Pascual Restrepo, Dani Rodrik, Jim Robinson, and Alex Wolitzky for suggestions and comments, and Peter Dizikes for outstanding editorial help. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.