Media hogaza de crecimiento

MILÁN – En un momento de crecimiento económico deslucido, los países en todo el mundo intentan diseñar e implementar estrategias para fomentar y sustentar la recuperación. La palabra clave es estrategia: para triunfar, los responsables de las políticas deben asegurar que se implementen medidas destinadas a abrir la economía, impulsar la inversión pública, mejorar la estabilidad macroeconómica y aumentar la dependencia de los mercados y los incentivos para la asignación de recursos, en paquetes razonablemente completos. Perseguir sólo algunos de estos objetivos genera resultados claramente inferiores.

China ofrece un ejemplo revelador. Antes de que Deng Xiaoping lanzara la política de "reforma y apertura" en 1978, el país tenía niveles relativamente altos de inversión del sector público. Pero la economía centralmente planificada carecía de incentivos de mercado y estaba esencialmente cerrada a los principales mercados de la economía global para bienes, inversión y tecnología. En consecuencia, los retornos sobre la inversión pública eran modestos, y el desempeño económico de China era mediocre.

La transformación económica de China comenzó con la introducción en los años 1980 de incentivos de mercado en el sector agrícola. Luego de esas reformas se produjo una apertura gradual a la economía global, un proceso que se aceleró a comienzos de los años 1990. El crecimiento económico dio un gran salto hacia adelante, y los retornos sobre la inversión pública se dispararon, alcanzando una tasa de crecimiento anual superior al 9% del PBI, al poco tiempo de que se implementaran las reformas.

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