A la recherche des clefs de la prospérité nationale

NEW YORK – Beaucoup de réformes économiques qui ont fonctionné dans l'histoire correspondent à une situation dans laquelle un pays intelligent tire les leçons des succès politiques des autres, en les adaptant aux conditions locales. Parmi la longue histoire du développement économique, la Grande-Bretagne du XVIIIe siècle a appris de la Hollande; au début du XIXe siècle, la Prusse a appris de la Grande-Bretagne et de la France, le Japon de l’ère Meiji a appris de l'Allemagne au milieu du XIXe siècle; l’Europe de l'après deuxième guerre mondiale a appris des États-Unis; et la Chine de Deng Xiaoping a appris du Japon.

Grâce à un processus d'emprunt institutionnel et d’adaptation créative, les institutions économiques produisant de bons résultats et les technologies de pointe se sont répandues à travers le monde, stimulant ainsi la croissance mondiale. Aujourd'hui encore, il existe quelques opportunités importantes pour ce genre « d'arbitrage de politiques », si seulement davantage de pays prenaient le temps de tirer les leçons des réussites d'autres pays.

Par exemple, alors que de nombreux pays sont confrontés à une crise de l'emploi, une partie du monde capitaliste se porte bien. Il s’agit du nord de l'Europe : Allemagne, Pays-Bas et Scandinavie. L'été dernier en Allemagne, le taux de chômage a été d'environ 5,5%, et le taux de chômage des jeunes était de l'ordre de 8% – des niveaux remarquablement faibles par rapport à de nombreux autres pays riches.

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