El último desplazamiento del estado mínimo

HONG KONG – Demasiado frecuentemente el debate sobre la relación entre el estado y el mercado los presenta como fuerzas opuestas trenzadas en una lucha de suma cero. Pero este enfoque simplista rápidamente convierte la discusión constructiva en una víctima de la batalla ideológica entre los defensores del estado y los del capitalismo de mercado.

Un marco de trabajo más útil vería al estado y al mercado como dos lados de una misma moneda, unidos por la infraestructura de derechos de propiedad (IDP). Las principales formas en que el estado interactúa con el mercado –el reino de los intercambios voluntarios y privados de los derechos de propiedad– son tres.

En primer lugar, el estado realiza transacciones con el sector privado a través de los impuestos y el gasto. En segundo lugar, establece y mantiene la IDP, que incluye todas las instituciones necesarias para delinear, intercambiar, ajustar y proteger (mediante la obligación del cumplimiento de la ley y los contratos) los derechos de propiedad. Entre esas instituciones se encuentran los paneles arbitrales y el poder judicial, que no solo funcionan para adjudicar discutas sobre los derechos de propiedad, sino también para ocuparse de los abusos administrativos y las disputas entre los sectores público y privado. Finalmente, el estado compite con el sector privado a través de empresas y servicios públicos de propiedad estatal.

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