Cómo fue que despegó Brasil

CAMBRIDGE – Tras la visita de la presidenta brasileña, Dilma Rousseff, a Washington, DC, la semana pasada, la ocasión es propicia para considerar la forma en que algunos países como Brasil lograron liberarse de su anterior pobreza. Algunas instituciones dedicadas a asuntos de desarrollo, como el Banco Mundial, han defendido la idea de que para lograr estos avances es necesario mejorar las leyes que regulan la actividad empresarial. ¿Estarán en lo cierto?

Esta idea puede rastrearse al menos hasta Max Weber, quien sostuvo que un entorno eficaz para las empresas requiere una estructura legal tan predecible como una pieza de relojería. Según esta postura, los inversores necesitan reglas claras y tribunales eficaces; para financiar el crecimiento económico es fundamental que haya seguridad jurídica y mecanismos sólidos que protejan a los inversores. Si la recuperación de las inversiones es incierta, los inversores potenciales no invertirán, las empresas no crecerán y el desarrollo económico se detendrá. Primero están las reglas y las instituciones, el desarrollo económico real viene después.

Pero aunque este argumento suena convincente, el ascenso de Brasil no le sirve de confirmación: allí, el crecimiento financiero y económico no fue precedido (ni siquiera acompañado) por mejoras fundamentales en el sistema de justicia y los contratos.

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