flowers growing near mosque Poritsky via Flickr

El crecimiento económico tras la Primavera Árabe

CAMBRIDGE – Cinco años después del inicio de la Primavera Árabe, Egipto, Jordania, Marruecos y Túnez han alcanzado niveles aceptables de estabilidad política. Sin embargo, su crecimiento sigue siendo débil y el Fondo Monetario Internacional no espera que su expansión supere el 1,5% per cápita este año. Cabría preguntarse las razones, dado el gran potencial de desarrollo y la abundante fuerza laboral joven con que cuenta la región.

Una explicación obvia sería que, a pesar de los importantes avances en la creación de gobiernos estables, son países que siguen expuestos a riesgos políticos que ahuyentan a los inversionistas privados. Pero la inversión privada era modesta antes de los levantamientos de 2011, cuando los riesgos ya eran altos. Tiene que haber más motivos.

Si se da una mirada a la historia económica reciente de estos países se puede ver el problema con más profundidad. Los economías de mercado son relativamente nuevas en Oriente Próximo y el Norte de África: sólo surgieron tras los años 80, cuando el modelo de crecimiento dirigido desde el estado colapsó debido a sus problemas de eficiencia y la deuda resultante. No obstante, a diferencia de América Latina y Europa del Este, los países árabes liberalizaron sus economías sin liberalizar sus sistemas políticos. Respaldados por las potencias occidentales, sus autócratas mantenían firmemente las riendas del poder.

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