Los motores democráticos del desarrollo

LONDRES – “¡Es la economía, estúpido!” ha sido una cantinela durante más de dos decenios. Hoy día, se repiten esas palabras ad nauseam en los debates sobre el desarrollo, pero lograr que los países prosperen no es fácil.

Existe una bibliografía inmensa en la que se describen los diversos factores que determinan la prosperidad. En su muy comentado libro de 2012 Why Nations Fail (“¿Por qué fracasan las naciones?”), el economista Daron Acemoglu y el experto en ciencia política James A. Robinson subrayan la importancia de unas instituciones políticas y económicas no excluyentes. Según el nuevo libro del economista Angus Deaton, The Great Escape (“La gran evasión”), una clave es la salud.

El recién publicado Legatum Prosperity Index (“Índice Legatum de prosperidad mundial”) señala otra condición fundamental para el éxito: la gestión idónea de los asuntos públicos y el Estado de derecho. Como dice el director de ese programa, Natham Gamester, “ser una democracia rinde”. De hecho, en el momento actual 27 de los 30 países más prósperos del mundo son democracias. En cambio, no es así en el caso de los 30 últimos de la lista.

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