A Economia dos Nossos Filhos

TÓQUIO – A profissão de economista não teve uma boa crise. A Rainha Isabel II poderá ter criado demasiadas expectativas quando formulou a célebre pergunta a respeito da razão pela qual os economistas não conseguiram prever a catástrofe, mas existe uma sensação generalizada de que grande parte da investigação levada a cabo pelos economistas acabou por revelar-se irrelevante. Pior ainda, muitos dos conselhos prestados por economistas foram de pouca utilidade para os decisores políticos que procuravam limitar as repercussões a nível económico e financeiro.

Terão as gerações futuras um melhor desempenho? Um dos exercícios mais interessantes nos quais estive recentemente envolvido, no Fórum Económico Mundial, em Davos, traduziu-se num esforço colectivo para imaginar o conteúdo de um manual sobre os Princípios da Economia para 2033. Não houve falta de ideias nem de temas que, de acordo com os participantes, não estão incluídos nos manuais actualmente existentes e que deverão ser alvo de maior atenção dentro de duas décadas.

Os economistas que trabalham na fronteira da economia com a psicologia, por exemplo, defenderam a ideia de que se deveria dar mais evidência às finanças comportamentais, que analisam as fraquezas humanas para explicar o fracasso da denominada hipótese de mercado eficiente. Os historiadores da economia, por seu turno, argumentaram que os futuros manuais deveriam incluir a análise da experiência recente num registo histórico mais alargado. Este facto permitiria, entre outras coisas, que os economistas em formação considerassem com maior seriedade a evolução das instituições económicas.

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