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Automatización, productividad y crecimiento

BERLÍN – Parece evidente que, si una empresa invierte en la automatización, su fuerza laboral –aunque posiblemente reducida– será más productiva. Entonces, ¿por qué las estadísticas indican otra cosa?

En las economías avanzadas, en las que muchos sectores tienen tanto el dinero como la voluntad de invertir en la automatización, el aumento de la productividad (representada por el valor añadido por empleado o las horas trabajadas) ha sido baja desde hace al menos quince años. Y en el período transcurrido desde la crisis financiera de 2008, el crecimiento económico global de esos países ha sido también escaso: tan sólo el cuatro por ciento por término medio o menos.

Una explicación es la de que las economías avanzadas han acumulado demasiada deuda y han tenido que desapalancarse, lo que ha contribuido a una tónica de subinversión del sector público y ha deprimido el consumo y también la inversión privada, pero el del desapalacamiento es un proceso temporal, por lo que no limita el crecimiento indefinidamente. A largo plazo, el crecimiento económico global depende del aumento de la fuerza laboral y de su productividad.

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