Esperanza china de altos ingresos

SHANGHÁI – Hay amplio consenso en que el desarrollo económico implica más que el mero crecimiento del PIB. China está aprendiendo ahora que uno no garantiza al otro. A menos que los líderes chinos mejoren la estrategia de crecimiento para estimular el progreso tecnológico y la transformación estructural, la clasificación de altos ingresos continuará eludiendo al país con la segunda mayor economía y la mayor población del mundo.

Ciertamente, la estrategia china de crecimiento –impulsada por la inversión en infraestructura, un masivo aumento de las exportaciones manufactureras de bajo costo, y transferencias de tecnología– ha llevado a cierto cambio estructural. A medida que el trabajo y el capital pasaron de sectores y regiones de baja productividad a actividades más productivas, la asignación de recursos se tornó más eficiente, aumentaron los salarios reales y la estructura económica mejoró.

Pero no se puede depender de las mismas estrategias de crecimiento que llevan a un país pobre a niveles de ingreso medio para alcanzar la clasificación de altos ingresos. De hecho, no son pocos los países cuyos líderes han fracasado a la hora de reconocer las limitaciones de sus estrategias y de proporcionar suficientes incentivos para impulsar la emergencia de una estrategia alternativa, lo que llevó al estancamiento de sus economías y los dejó en la «trampa del ingreso medio».

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