economics class Richard Graulich/ZumaPress

Une économie en phase avec la réalité

CAMBRIDGE – La profession d’économiste est sans doute la première victime de la crise financière mondiale de 2008-2009. Après tout, les praticiens de l’économie n’ont pas su anticiper la catastrophe, et beaucoup ont été incapables de formuler quoi que ce soit d’utile lorsqu’il s’est agi d’élaborer une réponse. Il existe néanmoins des raisons d’espérer une guérison prochaine de la discipline économique, ainsi que de l’économie mondiale.

Les modèles économiques dominants ont été discrédités par la crise, pour la simple et bonne raison qu’ils n’avaient pas admis la possibilité d’une telle catastrophe. Par ailleurs, la priorité accordée à la technique au détriment des institutions, ainsi qu’à l’élégance théorique aux dépens de la réalité du monde, n’a pas préparé les économistes à formuler le genre de recommandations politiques concrètes qu’exigeait un contexte exceptionnel.

Certains considèrent que la solution consisterait à retourner au modèles économiques du passé, plus simples, qui instauraient certaines interdictions de politiques, et en cela suffisaient manifestement à éviter des crises comparables. D’autres insistent au contraire sur l’idée que l’efficacité des politiques d’aujourd’hui exigerait le mise en place de modèles de plus en plus complexes, susceptibles d’appréhender pleinement les dynamiques chaotiques de l’économie au XXIe siècle.

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