Seguir estimulando la demanda mundial es insostenible

VARSOVIA – Los días de gloria de la economía mundial son evidentemente cosa del pasado. Y sin embargo, la dirigencia política sigue ocupada en gestionar la demanda a corto plazo, con la esperanza de poder revivir las impetuosas tasas de crecimiento de antes de la crisis financiera de 2008‑2009. Es un error. El análisis de los factores de crecimiento neoclásicos (mano de obra, capital y productividad total de los factores) hace dudar de la posibilidad de que una política de estímulo a la demanda sea sostenible a largo plazo, o tan siquiera eficaz a corto plazo.

Veamos cada uno de esos factores. Por el lado de la mano de obra, en los próximos 15 años los cambios demográficos revertirán (o al menos, frenarán) el crecimiento de la oferta laboral en todas partes, menos en África, Medio Oriente y el centro y sur de Asia. Habrá escasez de mano de obra en Europa, Japón, Estados Unidos y, posiblemente, China y el este de Asia.

Si bien esto podría resolverse con la migración a gran escala de trabajadores desde las regiones con excedente a las deficitarias, es casi seguro que dicha solución generaría resistencia en la población local, especialmente en Europa y el este de Asia, de modo que difícilmente obtenga apoyo. Otra forma de descomprimir los mercados laborales sería aumentar la tasa de inclusión laboral (especialmente la de mujeres y personas de más edad), pero esto por sí solo no bastará para contrarrestar la reducción de la población en edad de trabajar.

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