El mito de la especialización

CAMBRIDGE – Algunas ideas resultan intuitivas. Otras parecen tan obvias una vez que se las expresa, que es difícil negar su veracidad. Son poderosas, porque muchas de sus implicaciones no son obvias. Nos brindan un punto de vista diferente desde el cual mirar al mundo y decidir cómo actuar sobre él.

Una de esas ideas es que las ciudades, las regiones y los países deben especializarse. Como no pueden ser buenos en todo, deben concentrarse en lo que son mejores, esto es, en sus ventajas comparativas. Deben hacer muy bien unas pocas cosas e intercambiarlas por otras que son producidas mejor en otros lugares, aprovechando así los beneficios del comercio.

Pero, así como algunas ideas son intuitivas u obvias, también pueden ser incorrectas y peligrosas. Como ocurre a menudo, no es lo que no sabemos, sino lo que erróneamente creemos que sabemos, lo que nos perjudica. La idea de que las ciudades y los países en realidad se especializan, y que por lo tanto deben especializarse, es una de esas ideas muy equivocadas y peligrosas.

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