Une assurance récession

NEW HAVEN – Olivier Blanchard, économiste en chef du Fonds monétaire international, et de nombreux économistes du FMI ont proposé dans un récent article que les gouvernements proposent ce qu’ils nomment une “assurance récession.” Les entreprises et/ou les particuliers achèteraient des polices d’assurance, paieraient régulièrement une prime et toucheraient une allocation si une mesure de l’économie, la croissance du PIB par exemple, tombait en deçà d’un certain seuil. Une telle assurance, pensent-ils, aiderait les entreprises et les personnes à gérer “l’extrême incertitude” de l’environnement économique actuel.

L’assurance récession pourrait en effet contribuer à soulager la crise économique en réduisant l’incertitude. Après tout, le vrai problème auquel nous sommes actuellement confrontés est celui de la paralysie : l’incertitude a mis en veille de nombreuses décisions de dépenses – par les entreprises (sur une augmentation de la production) et par les consommateurs (sur les articles produits par les entreprises). Réduire l’incertitude pourrait augmenter l’effet, voire être plus efficace que des programmes d’incitation fiscale, car cela s’adresserait aux origines de la répugnance à dépenser.

En outre, une assurance récession pourrait, contrairement à la politique fiscale, ne rien coûter aux gouvernements, car en stimulant la confiance, elle préviendrait le risque contre lequel elle assurerait. La capacité du gouvernement à offrir une telle assurance à une échelle suffisante pour qu’elle ne coûte rien est une raison de favoriser un plan public plutôt que des assureurs privés.

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