Modern conveyor belt for pedestrians

El retorno de la inversión pública

CAMBRIDGE – La idea de que la inversión pública en infraestructura (calles, represas, centrales de energía, etc.) es un motor indispensable del crecimiento económico siempre ejerció una poderosa influencia en los funcionarios de países pobres. También estuvo detrás de los primeros programas de ayuda al desarrollo después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, cuando el Banco Mundial y diversas instituciones bilaterales comenzaron a canalizar recursos a países recientemente independizados, para la financiación de proyectos de gran escala. Y es la motivación del nuevo Banco Asiático de Inversión en Infraestructura (BAII) liderado por China, que busca cubrir el presunto faltante de infraestructuras de la región, por un valor estimado en 8 billones de dólares.

Pero hace mucho que este tipo de modelo de crecimiento impulsado por la inversión pública (a menudo denominado despectivamente “fundamentalismo del capital”) perdió el favor de los expertos en desarrollo. Desde los años setenta, los economistas han recomendado a los funcionarios restar énfasis al sector público, el capital físico y la infraestructura, y priorizar en cambio los mercados privados, el capital humano (habilidades y capacitación) y las reformas administrativas e institucionales. El resultado, según todas las apariencias, fue una total transformación de las estrategias de desarrollo.

Pero tal vez sea hora de reconsiderar ese cambio. Si uno observa los países que, a pesar del empeoramiento de la situación económica global, todavía crecen rápidamente, verá que en gran medida se debe a la inversión pública.

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