Europa está al Frente en la Productividad

La revisión del milagro económico de Estados Unidos (EU) está en el aire. No sólo la burbuja de EU tronó, sino que además ahora parece que gran parte del milagro económico que tuvo EU en los años 90 nunca sucedió. Cuando se trata de desempeño, Europa reina, no EU.

Un estudio de las fuentes del crecimiento económico realizado por la OCDE ha reunido una formidable cantidad de datos y nuevos puntos de vista acerca de quién está haciéndolo bien y quién no. Una nueva conclusión es que el desempeño económico de EU no es tan brillante como se había pensado. La tabla que se muestra más adelante captura el punto central: es verdad, EU tuvo un alto crecimiento en los 90, mayor que las economías más grandes de Europa, por mucho. Pero el renglón de la productividad -EU como milagro de productividad- es erróneo.

Esto resulta evidente en el nivel convencional de rendimiento por persona empleada. Pero se torna todavía peor cuando reconocemos que en Europa se trabajan muchas menos horas por persona que en EU. Para cuando revisamos el rendimiento por hora de trabajo, Europa se muestra totalmente al revés. De pronto, un lugar que se piensa aburrido, si no peor, Alemania, es el gran ganador. Los alemanes no trabajan mucho, pero cuando sí trabajan logran un rendimiento sin igual, y la historia mejora con el tiempo.

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