La desmesura de la tecnología

CAMBRIDGE – No hay nada mejor que un lenguaje poco claro para sembrar el caos - o facilitar el consenso. Según Ludwig Wittgenstein, los problemas filosóficos no son más que una consecuencia del mal uso de las palabras. Por el contrario, el arte de la diplomacia consiste en encontrar una forma de expresarse que oculte el desacuerdo.

Una de las ideas que hoy los economistas comparten de manera casi unánime es que, más allá de la riqueza mineral, la mayor parte de la enorme diferencia de ingresos entre los países ricos y los pobres no se puede atribuir ni al capital ni a la educación, sino a la "tecnología". Entonces, ¿qué se entiende por tecnología?

La respuesta a esta pregunta explica un inusual consenso entre los economistas, puesto que la "tecnología" se mide como si fuera "ninguna de las anteriores" en un examen de opción múltiple. Es decir, es un residuo - al que el Nobel Robert Solow denominó “productividad total de los factores" - que permanece inexplicado aún después de dar cuenta de otros insumos de la producción, tales como el capital físico y el humano. En las acertadas palabras dichas por Moses Abramovits en 1956, este residuo es poco más que "una medida de nuestra ignorancia".

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