Le mirage impossible de la demande mondiale

VARSOVIE – Les années fastes de l’économie mondiale sont certainement révolues. Pourtant les responsables politiques continuent de porter toute leur attention sur la gestion à court terme de la demande globale dans l’espoir de ressusciter les taux respectables que connaissaient les économies avant la crise financière de 2008-09. Ils se fourvoient. Car lorsque l’on analyse les facteurs de croissance des théories économiques néoclassiques – la main-d’œuvre, le capital et la productivité totale des facteurs – il est clair que les politiques de stimulation de la demande ne peuvent durer à long terme, ni même servir de mesures temporaires.

Évaluons chacun de ces facteurs de croissance. Dans les 15 prochaines années, l’évolution de la démographie renversera, ou, au mieux, freinera la croissance de l’offre de main-d’œuvre partout sauf en Afrique, au Moyen-Orient et en Asie centrale du Sud. L’Europe, le Japon, les États-Unis et éventuellement la Chine et l’Asie de l’Est seront confrontés à des pénuries de main-d’œuvre.

Même si l’immigration de masse des régions où la main-d’œuvre abonde vers les régions en déficit profite aux économies, elle entraînerait fort probablement des résistances au sein des populations, surtout en Europe et en Asie de l’Est, compliquant les appuis au phénomène. L’augmentation du taux de participation au marché du travail, en particulier chez les femmes et les aînés, pourrait réduire la demande excédentaire pour la main-d’œuvre, mais serait, à elle seule, insuffisante pour contrer la baisse des populations en âge de travailler.

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