Parker shows how factors such as income, aggregate savings,
investment, technology, entrepreneurship, production, and outputs
per worker are influenced by the more fundamental principles of
physics and physiology. According to Philip Parker, the
relationship between physics-based physiology and macroeconomics
may come to dominate explanations of economic growth. His argument
focuses on the so-called equatorial paradox-the phenomenon that a
country's latitude explains up to 70 percent of cross-country
variances in per capita income. After introducing concepts from
physics and physiology as the building blocks of homeostatic
utility, he explains the role of homeostatic utility in economic
growth. Specifically, he shows that a country's performance is
gauged not by its absolute level of income or consumption, but by
how far it is from a homeostatic steady state governed by what he
calls physioeconomics. Countries closer to their homeostatic steady
state grow more slowly than those farther away. Parker shows how
factors such as income, aggregate savings, investment, technology,
entrepreneurship, production, and outputs per worker are influenced
by the more fundamental principles of physics and physiology. He
focuses particularly on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain
that drives motivation, monitors homeostasis, and ultimately keeps
us alive via neural, autonomic, and hormonal adjustments. He
presents evidence that long-run growth can be attributed to
variances in hypothalmic activity. A physioeconomic approach to
growth can lead to better economic policies, measures of
performance, and predictions of progress. To take just one example,
policymakers would be quicker to realize that food aid to warmer
regions can destroy local farming economies that supply adequate
caloric needs at a lower steady state.
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