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This paper examines data on economic growth and various social indicators for 193 countries over the past 50 years, divided into three periods: 1960-1980, 1980-2000, and 2000-2010. The paper finds that after a sharp slowdown in economic growth and in progress on social indicators during the second (1980-2000) period, there has been a recovery on both economic growth and, for many countries, a rebound in progress on social indicators (including life expectancy, adult, infant, and child mortality, and education) during the past decade. The paper discusses some of the economic and policy changes that might explain the slowdown and rebound.
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