Once upon a time-but, in truth, not so long ago-the story of economic growth possessed a clear dramatic structure. It began with a seemingly interminable and directionless first chapter, followed by a brief, action-packed, pivotal second chapter, and concluded with a soaring, triumphant finale, a happy ending without end. This structure was a dramatic masterpiece, but the story itself was full of loose ends and puzzles, and this narrative incoherence was not lessened by the peculiar custom of having different groups of story tellers narrate the first and third chapters.