¿Es la "nueva economía" una moda pasajera?

Hace no mucho se decía que la "nueva economía" había abolido las leyes de gravedad económicas: se esperaba que los precios de las acciones, la productividad y el empleo subieran eternamente, nunca que bajaran. La caída del NASDAQ y la desaceleración mundial que le siguió provocaron que muchos pensaran que la tan alabada "revolución de la tecnología informática" era simplemente otra burbuja especulativa.

Así, la pregunta a la que nos enfrentamos es: ¿qué tan importantes serán a largo plazo las revoluciones del procesamiento de datos y de las comunicaciones? ¿Podemos realmente hablar de una "nueva economía"? Nadie tiene una bola de cristal y es posible que haya predicciones erróneas. Sin embargo, creemos que el impacto a largo plazo de la "nueva economía" será, en efecto, enorme.

Algunas innovaciones tecnológicas cambian nuestras vidas pero no tienen un efecto duradero sobre la economía en su conjunto. La revolución de la iluminación es un buen ejemplo. En 1800, una familia estadounidense gastaba el 4% de su ingreso en velas, lámparas, aceite y cerillos. Ahora gasta menos del 1% en alumbrado y consume 100 veces más iluminación artificial. El precio real de la luz cayó mil veces a lo largo de los últimos dos siglos y, sin embargo, no hablamos de la "revolución de la iluminación" o de una "nueva economía" basada en los faroles eléctricos y las luces fluorescentes de tiendas y oficinas.

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