Comment combattre la stagnation séculaire

MILAN – Une grande partie du monde (notamment le monde développé) est engluée depuis quelques années dans une croissance faible et une baisse du PIB, au point que l'on peut se demander s'il ne s'agit pas là d'un état semi-permanent qui est en train de s'installer - ce que l'on peut qualifier de "stagnation séculaire 1" ou SS1. C'est sans doute le cas, mais s'en tenir là est insuffisant et n'a donc qu'une utilité limitée. Plusieurs facteurs sont susceptibles de freiner la croissance et ils ne sont pas tous hors de notre contrôle. 

Il faut évidemment prendre en compte le fait que nombre d'obstacles qui s'opposent à la croissance sont difficiles si ce n'est impossibles à éliminer à court terme sans menacer la stabilité à long terme. C'est la persistance de cette situation qui est à l'origine de la SS1.

Le premier signe de la SS1 est en rapport avec l'innovation technologique. Si comme le soutient l'économiste Robert Gordon, nous sommes dans une phase où cette dernière n'améliore pas beaucoup la productivité, le potentiel de croissance à long terme s'en trouve limité. Même si le rythme de l'innovation n'a pas trop baissé, ou s'il s'accélère à nouveau prochainement, l'adaptation structurelle et les changements de comportement nécessaires pour bénéficier des gains possibles de productivité prendront du temps.

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