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Episode 772: Small Change

Technology changes.
Giordano Poloni
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Getty Images/Ikon Images
Technology changes.

Here is a thing we hear approximately every day: The world is changing faster than ever before. Robert Gordon doesn't buy it.

He's an economist who has spent decades studying technological change and economic growth in America. He argues that, contrary to popular belief, the world is not changing faster than ever before. In fact, it's not even changing as fast as it was 100 years ago.

He recently made this argument in a book called The Rise and Fall of American Growth. In the New York Times, Paul Krugman called it a "magisterial combination of deep technological history, vivid portraits of daily life... and careful economic analysis."

On today's show, we talk to Gordon. His argument has profound implications for everything from how the next generation will live to whether robots really are about to take our jobs.

Music: "Burning In Me," "Feels So Good" and "Nerd Disco." Find us: Twitter / Facebook .

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts or PocketCast .

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jacob Goldstein is an NPR correspondent and co-host of the Planet Money podcast. He is the author of the book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing.
Sally Helm reports and produces for Planet Money. She has covered wildfire investigation in California, Islamic Finance in Michigan, the mystery of declining productivity growth, and holograms. Helm is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop and of Yale University. Before coming to work at NPR, she helped start an after-school creative writing program in Sitka, Alaska. She is originally from Los Angeles, California.