Keynes contra los clásicos: Segundo round

LONDRES – El economista John Maynard Keynes escribió La teoría general del  empleo, el interés y el dinero (1936) para “concientizar a mis compañeros economistas sobre nuestras profundas divergencias de opinión, que solamente han deteriorado la influencia práctica de la teoría económica”. Setenta años después, los economistas más influyentes todavía se siguen atacando casi en los mismos términos que en los años 1930.

En la pelea estelar más reciente figuran el nuevo campeón del keynesianismo, Paul Krugman, de la Universidad de Princeton, y el nuevo campeón clásico, John Cochrane, de la Universidad de Chicago. Recientemente Krugman publicó un artículo periodístico intitulado “¿Cómo pudieron equivocarse tanto los economistas?” No había nada en las corrientes principales de la economía, escribió Krugman, “que sugiriera la posibilidad de un colapso como el del año pasado.”

La razón fue que “los economistas, como grupo, confundieron la belleza, disfrazada de matemáticas atractivas, con la verdad.” Difundieron una “visión idealizada de una economía en la que los sujetos racionales interactuaban en mercados perfectos.” Desafortunadamente, “esta visión aséptica de la economía hizo que gran parte de los economistas ignoraran todas las cosas que podían salir mal." Por tanto, ahora los economistas tendrán que aceptar “la importancia de los comportamientos irracionales y a menudo impredecibles; admitir las imperfecciones frecuentemente idiosincrásicas de los mercados y aceptar que una elegante ‘teoría económica de todo' está muy lejos todavía."

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