Paul Lachine

Replantearse el imperativo del crecimiento

CAMBRIDGE – La macroeconomía moderna parece con frecuencia considerar que el crecimiento rápido y estable es lo más importante de la política económica. Los debates políticos, las juntas de los bancos centrales y los titulares de portada de los periódicos se hacen eco de ese mensaje, pero, ¿de verdad tiene sentido considerar el crecimiento como el principal objetivo social a perpetuidad, como dan por sentado ímplícitamente los libros de texto de economía?

Desde luego, muchos críticos de las estadísticas económicas habituales han propugnado mediciones más amplias del bienestar nacional, como, por ejemplo, la esperanza de vida al nacer, la alfabetización, etcétera. Entre esas evaluaciones figuran el Informe sobre desarrollo humano de las Naciones Unidas y, más recientemente, la Comisión sobre la medición de los resultados económicos y el progreso social, encabezada por los economistas Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen y Jean-Paul Fitoussi.

Pero podría haber un problema más profundo aún que la estrechez estadística: el de que la teoría moderna del crecimiento no subraye adecuadamente que las personas son seres fundamentalmente sociales. Para evaluar su bienestar, se basan en lo que ven a su alrededor, no en algún criterio absoluto.

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