trapped Floriane Legendre/Flickr

Grecia, Argentina, y la trampa del ingreso medio

SANTIAGO – ¿Qué tienen en común Grecia y Argentina, fuera de una tradición establecida de macroeconomía mediocre? Una respuesta es que ambos han sido los países de más larga permanencia dentro de la llamada trampa del ingreso medio - y aún no terminan de salir de ella. Hay países en Asia, Europa Oriental y América Latina que temen que tras haber llegado a la clase media internacional, pueden estar estancados en ella. Grecia y Argentina ayudan a ilustrar la forma en que esto puede suceder.

En un estudio reciente, economistas de Bard College y del Banco Asiático de Desarrollo clasifican las economías del mundo en cuatro grupos - entre los que las primeras dos categorías corresponden a los países de ingresos medios altos y altos - y siguen los movimientos según los cuales las naciones entran y salen de estos grupos. ¿Qué países estuvieron estancados por el mayor período de tiempo en la categoría de ingresos medios altos antes de pasar a la de ingresos altos? La respuesta correcta es Grecia y Argentina.

Tomando en cuenta las variaciones del costo de la vida en los distintos países, el estudio concluye que el umbral de ingreso per cápita sobre el cual un país pasa a ser de altos ingresos es US$10.750 de poder adquisitivo en el año 1990, y que US$7.250 lo es para pasar a la categoría de ingresos medios altos. (Estos umbrales pueden parecer bajos, pero los que el Banco Mundial emplea son muy similares.)

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