Woran krankt es in den entwickelten Ökonomien?

CAMBRIDGE – Ist das derzeitige langsame Wachstum in den Industrieländern die Fortsetzung einer langfristigen Talfahrt oder Ausdruck der normalen Folgen einer tiefen, systemischen Finanzkrise? Noch wichtiger erscheint, ob wir diese Frage abschließend beantworten müssen, um das Tempo der wirtschaftlichen Erholung zu beschleunigen.

Auf einer kürzlich abgehaltenen Konferenz des Internationalen Währungsfonds (IWF) argumentierte der ehemalige US-Finanzminister Lawrence Summers, dass der heutige Katzenjammer hinsichtlich des Wirtschaftswachstums tiefe Wurzeln hätte, die bereits in die Zeit vor der globalen Finanzkrise zurückreichen. Besonders hob Summers die Notwendigkeit verstärkter Investitionen in die Infrastruktur hervor. Dieses Gefühl teilen die meisten Ökonomen aus ganzem Herzen, vor allem wenn man sich dabei auf wirklich produktive Investitionen bezieht.

Andere betrachten den langfristigen Abschwung ebenfalls mit Sorge, obwohl die meisten den Schwerpunkt eher auf die Angebots- als auf die Nachfrageseite legen. Der Ökonom Jeffrey Sachs beispielsweise argumentiert, dass die US-Wirtschaft mit einer Fülle von strukturellen Hindernissen konfrontiert ist, die einem nachhaltigen Wachstum im Weg stehen wie etwa die Auslagerung der Produktion ins Ausland, das Ungleichgewicht zwischen Qualifikationsangebot und –nachfrage sowie eine verfallende Infrastruktur.

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