Scaffolding on building.

El espejismo de las reformas estructurales

ATENAS – Desde que golpeó la crisis financiera en 2009, cada programa económico impuesto a Grecia por sus acreedores, se ha hecho bajo un supuesto central arrogante: que las reformas estructurales concebidas enérgicamente y aplicadas sin desfase, ofrecerían una rápida recuperación económica. La Comisión Europea, el Banco Central Europeo y el Fondo Monetario Internacional anticiparon que la austeridad fiscal sería costosa y afectaría los ingresos y empleos –aunque subestimaron significativamente cuán costosa sería. Sin embargo, señalaban que las reformas orientadas al mercado tanto tiempo postergadas y muy necesarias resultarían en un impulso compensatorio para la economía griega.

Cualquier evaluación de los resultados actuales arrojados por las reformas estructurales en todo el mundo –sobre todo en América Latina y Europa oriental desde los años noventa– enfriaría dichas expectativas. La privatización, la desregulación y la liberalización producen típicamente un crecimiento a largo plazo, en el mejor de los casos, pero tienen efectos a corto plazo que con frecuencia son negativos.

No quiere decir que los gobiernos no pueden generar un aumento rápido de crecimiento. De hecho, dichas aceleraciones de crecimiento son muy comunes en todo el mundo. Sin embargo, están asociadas con una eliminación bien focalizada y selectiva de obstáculos importantes, y no con una liberalización general e iniciativas de reforma en la economía.

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