Abstract: Homo augens Prosperity, n.: “A successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial respects; good fortune.” So says dictionary.com, but there are plenty of other definitions out there, focusing on everything from spiritual wellbeing to health and happiness. Yet all of them, in the end, seem to rest on the same thing: energy. Humans have bodies, and whether your idea of prosperity is financial, spiritual, or felicitous, you will have none of it unless you consume roughly 2,000 kilocalories of energy every day. People with access to more than 2,000 kilocalories per day can turn their surplus energy into whatever makes them feel prosperous, whether that is stocks and bonds, churches, hospitals, or even a conference at the Hoover Institution. However we think about prosperity, it all comes down to energy.

Read the paper: Prosperity in the Very Long Run

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