Chris Van Es

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بودابست ـ إن الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية كانت بمثابة لحظة كاشفة لمهنة الاقتصاد، وذلك لأنها وضعت العديد من الأفكار على محك الاختبار. وإذا كان من المستطاع تعريف العلم بقدرته على التنبؤ بالمستقبل، فإن فشل القسم الأعظم من مهنة الاقتصاد في توقع قدوم الأزمة الحالية لابد وأن يكون مدعاة لقدر عظيم من القلق والانزعاج.

ولكن أوساط مهنة الاقتصاد تشتمل في الواقع على قدر من التنوع في الأفكار أعظم مما نتصور. ففي هذا العام فاز بجائزة نوبل في الاقتصاد اثنان من العلماء اللذين كرسا حياتهما العملية لاستكشاف السبل البديلة. لقد ولَّد الاقتصاد ثروة من الأفكار، التي زعم الكثير منها أن الأسواق ليست بالضرورة مستقرة أو كاملة الكفاءة، أو أن النماذج المعيارية للتوازن التنافسي التي تستخدم في إدارة الاقتصاد في العديد من البلدان لا تصلح لوصف اقتصادنا، ومجتمعنا.

فالاقتصاد السلوكي على سبيل المثال يؤكد أن المشاركين في السوق كثيراً ما يتصرفون على نحو لا يمكن التوفيق بينه وبين العقلانية بسهولة. وبالمثل فإن اقتصاد المعلومات الحديثة يبين لنا أنه حتى لو كانت الأسواق تنافسية، فإنها من غير الممكن أن تتمتع بالكفاءة في كل الأحوال تقريباً ما دامت المعلومات منقوصة أو غير متساوقة (فبعض الناس يعرفون أموراً لا يعرفها آخرون، كما حدث في الكارثة المالية الأخيرة) ـ وهذا وضع دائم.

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