¿Está Muerta la Economía Keynesiana?

Desde los inicios del capitalismo la economía de mercado ha sido sujeto de fluctuaciones, de alzas y de caídas. Las economías capitalistas no son autoajustables: las fuerzas de mercado podrían eventualmente restaurar el empleo total de una economía, como Keynes decía, pero a la larga todos estamos muertos. Keynes propuso prescripciones claras para los tiempos económicamente difíciles: políticas fiscal y monetaria expansionarias. Pensó que la política fiscal sería de particular importancia en situaciones en las que es probable que la política monetaria no sea efectiva.

En las economías avanzadas, la economía keynesiana es el pan de cada día del pronóstico económico y de la definición de políticas económicas. Las expansiones son más largas y las caídas menos profundas y más cortas, porque las prescripciones keynesianas funcionan. Claro, la teoría y la práctica han sido refinadas. La teoría de la información asimétrica proporciona muchos de los microfundamentos de la macroeconomía moderna. Pero algunos de los preceptos más simples y más importantes, formulados mucho antes de que esos microfundamentos estuvieran bien establecidos (como el hecho de que los recortes temporales al impuesto al ingreso tienen pocas probabilidades de ser efectivos, mientras que los créditos temporales al impuesto sobre la inversión pueden ser extremadamente poderosos), son tan válidos ahora como nunca antes.

Aprendemos de los fallos de la política económica tanto como de sus atinos. Cuando el FMI forzó amplios recortes al gasto en Asia del este, el producto en esos países cayó, tal y como lo predice la teoría keynesiana.

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