Paul Krugman Panayiotis Tzamaros/ZumaPress

Los economistas frente a la economía

CAMBRIDGE – Desde que a finales del siglo XIX, cuando la economía, que cada vez recurría más a las matemáticas y la estadística, adquirió pretensiones científicas, sus profesionales han sido acusados de una diversidad de pecados. Las acusaciones –incluidos el orgullo desmedido, la desatención de los fines sociales, aparte de los ingresos, la atención excesiva a las técnicas formales y los fallos al predecir los acontecimientos económicos más importantes, como, por ejemplo, las crisis financieras– han solido proceder de personas ajenas a ella o de unos heterodoxos marginales, pero últimamente parece que incluso los principales teóricos de la disciplina están descontentos.

Paul Krugman, premio Nobel que también publica artículos en una sección fija de un periódico, ha convertido en un hábito las críticas muy severas a la última generación de modelos de macroeconomía por haber desatendido las anticuadas verdades keynesianas. Paul Romer, uno de los iniciadores de la nueva teoría del crecimiento, ha acusado a algunos nombres destacados, incluidos el premio Nobel Robert Lucas, de lo que llama “matematicidad”; utilizar las matemáticas para enturbiar en lugar de aclarar.

Richard Thaler, distinguido economista conductista de la Universidad de Chicago, ha reprochado a los profesionales pasar por alto el comportamiento en el mundo real a favor de modelos que dan por sentado que las personas son optimizadoras racionales y el profesor de Finanzas Luigi Zingales, también de la Universidad de Chicago, ha acusado a sus colegas especialistas en finanzas de haber extraviado a la sociedad al  exagerar los beneficios producidos por el sector financiero.

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