Coping with a ﬁnal peak in world oil production could look pretty similar to what we observed as the economy adapted to the production plateau encountered over 2005-2009. That experience appeared to have much in common with previous historical episodes that resulted from temporary geopolitical conﬂict, being associated with signiﬁcant declines in employment and output. If the future decades look like the last 5 years, we are in for a rough time.
Most economists view the economic growth of the last century and a half as being fueled by ongoing technological progress. Without question, that progress has been most impressive. But there may also have been an important component of luck in terms of ﬁnding and exploiting a resource that was extremely valuable and useful but ultimately ﬁnite and exhaustible. It is not clear how easy it will be to adapt to the end of that era of good fortune.