On the Economic Returns From a Global Program of Social Capital: A Trillion Dollar Agenda for Growth

Steven H. KIM

Abstract


Abstract

For the economy to grow, the actors in the marketplace need to expand the overall output rather than jostle each other for bigger shares of the available output. To this end, the productivity level may be boosted through a comprehensive program of social capital. Based on the experience of the 20th century, the rich countries of the world could afford to commit US$1 trillion per year for a couple of decades. According to a compelling scenario, the total investment of $20 trillion in nominal terms will comprise $13.6 trillion in current dollars since the funds will be disbursed over time rather than spent at once. Based on conservative estimates, the present value of the benefits will exceed $3.39 quadrillion which represents a payback of 249 times the original investment. In this way, the windfall from a global program of social capital should far surpass the outlay required for its implementation.

Key words: Economic Growth, Social Capital, Foreign Aid, Emerging Markets, Productivity

JEL: E20, E60, O10, P00, Z10.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1453/jepe.v3i4.1105

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