Marshmallow Economics
Marshmallow Economics
The politicians who have rushed to reopen their economies would have fared poorly on the Stanford marshmallow test. In that well-known experiment, children could have one reward immediately or two rewards a little later. Those that could delay gratification generally went on to have far more success in life. The varying responses to COVID-19 bring this classic finding to mind. The haste to get people shopping and businesses humming for a possible short-term economic boost sacrifices the economy in the longer term. In the end, the quick pursuit of the old “normal” delays reaching a new “normal.” The governments that have best controlled COVID-19 have delayed economic gratification for the sake of public health. New Zealand, for instance, patiently beat back the disease with an extended, science-driven lockdown. A long-term outlook that rejects myopic greed will be essential for eradicating COVID-19 and myriad other challenges the world faces.

MacroScope Key


    Bodes well for the future


    Bodes ill


See all MacroScopes

Journey to Earthland

The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization

Cover Image of Paul Raskin's latest book titled Journey to Earthland

GTI Director Paul Raskin charts a path from our dire global moment to a flourishing future.

Read more and get a copy

Available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish