Que Florezcan Mil Modelos de Crecimiento

Durante las últimas décadas se ha arraigado un punto de vista simplista acerca de los fundamentos que gobiernan la teoría y la práctica del desarrollo. Sin rodeos, ese punto de vista sostiene que el crecimiento requiere de dos cosas: tecnología externa y buenas instituciones. No lograr crecer puede atribuirse a una de dos patologías, o a ambas. Llamemos a una la patología de "protección", en la que los gobiernos bloquean el progreso reduciendo el acceso a la tecnología y a la inversión extranjeras. La otra patología es la "corrupción", en donde los líderes políticos no son capaces de respetar los derechos de propiedad y el gobierno de la ley.

Los remedios naturales para esas patologías se supone que son la apertura económica y una mejor gobernabilidad. Las reformas enfocadas en la gobernabilidad y la apertura se volvieron, entonces, las piedras angulares de la estrategia de desarrollo en virtualmente todos los países durante los últimos quince años.

La experiencia calza de forma extraña (cuando mucho) con esa concepción. Consideremos a América Latina, en donde ha habido mayor entusiasmo por el llamado "Consenso de Washington" para el crecimiento que en ningún otro rincón del mundo. Según los estándares del punto de vista del consenso, la definición de políticas en América Latina fue mejor en la década de 1990 que nunca antes, no obstante, pocos países de la región crecieron más rápido que en el periodo anterior a 1980.

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