Dean Rohrer

Dienstleistungen ohne Tränen

NEW YORK – In den Wirtschaftswissenschaften gibt es eine berühmte Behauptung, dass die Kosten für Dienstleistungen (wie Gesundheitsfürsorge oder Ausbildung) im Vergleich zu den Kosten für Verbrauchsgüter (wie Lebensmittel, Öl oder Maschinen) tendenziell steigen. Dies scheint plausibel: Die Menschen in aller Welt können sich die steigenden Kosten für Gesundheit und schulische Ausbildung kaum noch leisten – Kosten, die jährlich stärker zu steigen scheinen als die allgemeine Inflation. Jetzt aber ist eine deutliche Senkung der Kosten für Gesundheitsfürsorge, Ausbildung und andere Dienstleistungen möglich. Dies liegt an der immer weiter fortschreitenden Revolution der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (IKT).

Das Verhältnis der Kosten für Dienstleistungen zu den Güterkosten hängt von der Produktivität ab. Wenn Landwirte immer besser dabei werden, Lebensmittel anzubauen, und Lehrer kaum besser darin werden, Kinder zu unterrichten, fallen die Kosten für Lebensmittel in Relation zu den Ausbildungskosten. Darüber hinaus sinkt der Anteil der Landwirte an der Bevölkerung, da zur Ernährung des Landes weniger Landwirte benötigt werden.

Dieses langfristige Muster konnten wir bereits beobachten: Der Anteil der Arbeitskräfte in der Güterproduktion hat sich verringert, während die Güter im Vergleich zu Dienstleistungen billiger wurden. In den Vereinigten Staaten waren 1950 etwa 4% der Bevölkerung in der Landwirtschaft beschäftigt, 38% in der Industrie (einschließlich Bergbau, Bauwirtschaft und Produktion) und 58% im Dienstleistungssektor. 2010 waren die Anteile etwa 2%, 17% und 81%. In der Zwischenzeit sind die Kosten für das Gesundheits- und Schulwesen ebenso wie für viele andere Dienstleistungen stark gestiegen.

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