Shinzo Abe Ma Ping/ZumaPress

La flecha que falta en la Abenomía

TOKIO – En su impulso para hacer arrancar la economía japonesa, el Primer Ministro Shinzo Abe, poco después de ocupar su cargo en 2012, introdujo un gran estímulo fiscal y aplicó un audaz programa de relajación monetaria. Desde entonces, las autoridades japonesas han estado trabajando para lanzar lo que Abe llama la tercera “flecha” de su programa: reformas arduas de las industrias decisivas y la demolición de los obstáculos estructurales al crecimiento.

Pero el foco de la política pública ha dejado una “cuarta flecha” –el sector privado– intacto y al parecer preterido. Es algo que lamentar, porque el Gobierno no puede solucionar por sí solo los males del Japón. El aumento de la productividad anual ha sido tercamente lento, pues raras veces ha superado el dos por ciento en gran parte de los dos últimos decenios, lo que refleja oportunidades desaprovechadas y una reducción de la competitividad de los costos.

El desplome de la productividad del Japón afecta a toda la economía; los incrementos de la productividad de la mano de obra y del capital han quedado prácticamente paralizados en casi todos los sectores, incluso en las avanzadas industrias manufactureras distintivas del Japón. La productividad de la mano de obra en el sector de equipo de transporte, por ejemplo, apenas si representa la mitad de la de Alemania.

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