The new age of scarcity: How we can adapt

On 22 November, William White was honored to present the 2023 Sylvia Ostry lecture as a webinar for the CD Howe Institute in Toronto, Canada. He began by noting that he shared Sylvia Ostry’s view that the economy was a complex, adaptive system nested within other such systems. He then proceeded to show that this insight had important lessons for policy makers. White then provided evidence that we were moving from an age of plenty (disinflation) to one of scarcity (inflation), and that pressure for higher real rates would be significant. This pressure would arise from the conjuncture of  lower growth potential with the need for higher investment to meet such challenges as climate change. White finished by suggesting a number of “unpalatable” supply side and fiscal reforms that might lower the danger of “disastrous” outcomes.