La próxima revolución de la productividad

NUEVA YORK – “Las señales de alerta se vuelven a encender en el centro de control de la economía global”,  señaló acertadamente el primer ministro británico, David Cameron, tras la cumbre del G-20 de noviembre. Sin embargo, la verdadera fuente de inquietud no se encuentra en el riesgo asociado con los desafíos de corto plazo, como la nueva etapa de recesión en Japón en 2014 o el rezago persistente en la eurozona, sino los vendavales a que se enfrentará el mundo durante la segunda mitad del siglo.

Pese a altas y bajas inquietantes, los últimos cincuenta años ofrecieron dividendos de crecimiento mundial sin precedentes. De acuerdo con indicadores como el PIB (que sin duda es una medida imperfecta), la economía mundial sextuplicó su crecimiento, y el ingreso per cápita casi se triplicó.

En el mundo en desarrollo, la riqueza sostenida y los avances en materia de servicios de salud públicos han aumentado la esperanza promedio de vida en 20 años desde mediados de los años setenta, y el analfabetismo adulto casi se ha reducido a la mitad en los últimos treinta años. La desigualdad entre países ha disminuido, y sus efectos se reflejan en los mil millones de personas que han salido de la pobreza extrema tan solo en las dos últimas décadas.

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