The 2018 economics Nobel prize went to Paul Romer and William Nordhaus, an extremely deserving pair of economists. In addition to honoring two scholars whose contributions have deeply influenced their field, the award points to a crucially important issue that the world is beginning to give short shrift — economic growth.

Growth in rich countries' living standards has slowed during the past decade.

That's bad news. Of course, it's good for people in the United States, France or Japan to have higher living standards. But rich-country growth is also crucial for poorer nations. When they're growing faster, rich countries have more purchasing power with which to buy poor countries' products.