Estarão os EUA a tornar-se japoneses?

BERKELEY – No final da década de1980, o Japão era aparentemente incapaz de cometer qualquer erro aos olhos dos economistas. Estes consideravam que o Japão tinha uma clara vantagem competitiva sobre a região do Atlântico Norte relativamente a um vasto leque de indústrias de alta tecnologia de precisão e de produção em massa que produziam bens transaccionáveis. Viam também uma economia que, desde o início da reconstrução após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, havia superado significativamente os níveis de crescimento esperado para as economias europeias. E viam uma economia que crescia a um ritmo substancialmente mais rápido do que o verificado nas economias do Atlântico Norte quando estas registavam os mesmos níveis de produtividade absolutos e relativos à escala de toda a economia.

A aposta segura no final da década de 1980 parecia ser a de que a mecanização, a informatização e a automatização teriam continuidade. As pressões políticas e económicas levariam um maior número de sectores japoneses a proceder a uma mudança para formas de funcionamento mecanizadas intensivas e de alta produtividade. Uma mudança que já fora efectuada pelo sector industrial orientado à exportação (e que sectores como a agricultura e a distribuição já tinham efectuado ou estavam em vias de efectuar na região do Atlântico Norte).

A ética de trabalho japonesa manter-se-ia, pensava-se, e a elevada taxas de poupança do Japão, bem como o fraco crescimento demográfico verificado no país assegurar-lhe-iam uma vantagem substancial em termos de intensidade de capital - e, por conseguinte, de produtividade laboral - que se sobrepunha a qualquer vantagem à escala de toda a economia que pudesse vir a desenvolver a nível de produtividade total dos factores. Além disso, a proximidade a uma fonte imensa de mão-de-obra barata permitiria ao Japão construir uma divisão regional de trabalho que aproveitaria a sua mão-de-obra bem qualificada e bem remunerada e que contrataria externamente, na Ásia continental, a mão-de-obra não qualificada a baixos níveis salariais e, consequentemente, empregos de baixa produtividade.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/cQRmils/pt;
  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable


    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.