Entendiendo el modelo de crecimiento de China

SHANGHÁI – Si bien la economía de China se ha expandido a un ritmo asombroso en las últimas tres décadas, hoy existe un consenso generalizado de que su modelo de crecimiento está agotado. Hasta los máximos líderes de China reconocen la necesidad de un cambio -una idea que culminó en la agenda de reformas de amplio alcance presentada hace dos meses en la Tercera Sesión Plenaria del XVIII Comité Central del Partido Comunista Chino.

Aunque no todos coincidan sobre cómo debería ser exactamente el nuevo modelo de crecimiento, las propuestas no difieren sustancialmente, dado el consenso prevaleciente de que el modelo actual está sustentado en una base insostenible. Del lado de la demanda, muchos economistas respaldan el paso de un crecimiento liderado por la inversión a un crecimiento impulsado por el consumo. Aún más popular es la recomendación del lado de la oferta de un cambio de un crecimiento extensivo a un crecimiento intensivo -es decir, de un modelo basado en la acumulación de capital a un modelo impulsado por mejoras en la eficiencia, medidas por la productividad total de los factores (PTF).

Estas recomendaciones supuestamente están influenciadas por las críticas de Paul Krugman de 1994 del crecimiento extensivo al estilo soviético de las economías del este de Asia (especialmente Singapur). En aquel momento, Jeffery Sachs no estaba de acuerdo y aseguraba que el modelo del este de Asia incluía una asignación de la inversión basada en el mercado mucho más eficiente que el modelo soviético y, por lo tanto, era única; sin embargo, las críticas prendieron.

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