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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 11, 2006

John Larrivee
Pages 219-243
DOI: 10.5840/cssr20061112

Fogel’s Call to catch up with the Economy as an Opening for Christian Economists

Robert Fogel, who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his research in economic history, particularly that assessing well-being in the past, has recently turned his skills to examining the future. Concluding that the past few centuries, especially the twentieth, provided unprecedented material gains in both well-being and in equality, he argues that future gains to utility will occur more from spiritual enrichment than from increases in material prosperity and that inequality will increasingly depend upon differences in spiritual resources. These changes call for new ways of thinking about and even measuring well-being. Despite his more secular definition of spiritual, his call indicates new openings for Christians to participate in such debates with economists specifically, and with all people concerned about equality and justice.

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