La destrucción creativa en el empleo

OXFORD – A lo largo de la historia, el progreso tecnológico ha generado enormes niveles de riqueza pero también grandes disrupciones. Por ejemplo, la industria del acero de Estados Unidos sufrió una importante transformación en los años 60 cuando las miniplantas siderúrgicas causaron el cierre de las plantas integradas de gran tamaño, destruyendo la base económica de ciudades como Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania y Youngstown, Ohio. Sin embargo, aumentaron notablemente la productividad y se crearon nuevos tipos de empleo en otras zonas.

La historia del acero estadounidense ilustra una lección importante acerca de lo que el economista Joseph Schumpeter llamara la “destrucción creativa”: el crecimiento económico de largo plazo implica no sólo el aumento de la producción en las industrias actuales, sino también cambios en los patrones de empleo.

Podemos observar un fenómeno similar en la revolución de la tecnología de la información y las comunicaciones (TIC) que vivimos en la actualidad, que ha afectado a la mayoría de las áreas de trabajo modernas, incluso las que no directamente relacionadas con la programación de ordenadores o la ingeniería de software. Las tecnologías informáticas han creado prósperos negocios (incluso parques empresariales) y, al mismo tiempo, ha convertido en superfluos a ciertos tipos de trabajadores y causado el declive de las ciudades con mayor trayectoria industrial.

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