Il lungo breve periodo

BERKELEY – Prima del 2008, insegnavo ai miei studenti che gli Stati Uniti erano un’economia flessibile, con datori di lavoro disposti ad assumere e scommettere su lavoratori disoccupati con un potenziale produttivo e con lavoratori impegnati e pronti a passare a nuove opportunità o a provare nuove esperienze per trovare lavoro. Dato che sia gli imprenditori che i lavoratori erano disposti a cogliere le opportunità, l’offerta generava la domanda.

Certo, spiegavo anche che degli shock negativi sulla spesa avrebbero senza dubbio potuto creare una disoccupazione di massa e capacità inutilizzata, ma le eventuali conseguenze si registravano in realtà per uno, due tre anni al massimo. E infatti, ogni anno, alla fine della recessione iniziale, gli Stati Uniti erano in grado di recuperare circa il 40% delle condizioni, ponendosi quindi a metà tra il contesto attuale ed il potenziale di piena occupazione.

Il dominio del breve periodo keynesiano (e monetarista), spiegavo poi, tendeva generalmente a durare da 0 a 2 anni. Analizzando invece gli eventi con un orizzonte di 3-7 anni, si poteva ipotizzare un modello “classico” grazie al quale l’economia sarebbe tornata alla piena occupazione, mentre i cambiamenti nella politica e nel contesto economico avrebbero alterato la distribuzione ma non il livello di spesa, produzione e occupazione. Il periodo successivo ai sette anni diventava invece ambito della crescita economica e delle istituzioni economiche.

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