Ben Bernanke Larry Summers Wikimedia Commons

El problema del estancamiento persistente

NUEVA DELHI – En un intercambio reciente entre el ex Presidente de la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos Ben Bernanke y el ex Secretario del Tesoro del mismo país Larry Summers sobre la posibilidad de un estancamiento persistente, un aspecto en el que convenían era el de la necesidad de una perspectiva mundial, pero desde dicha perspectiva la hipótesis de un estancamiento persistente en el período inmediatamente anterior a la crisis financiera mundial no cuadra con un dato fundamental: el crecimiento mundial ascendió, por término medio, a más del cuatro por ciento, la mayor tasa registrada.

El mismo problema rodea la hipótesis de Bernanke de que el crecimiento lento reflejaba una “saturación del ahorro mundial”. Desde una perspectiva keynesiana, un aumento del ahorro no puede explicar el incremento repentino de la actividad que el mundo presenció a comienzos del decenio de 2000.

Parece que los partidarios de la hipótesis del estancamiento persistente no han entendido en qué consiste el problema. Desde una perspectiva de verdad mundial y duradera, la dificultad estriba en explicar el auge anterior a la crisis. Más concretamente, radica en explicar la conjunción de tres importantes acontecimientos mundiales: un aumento repentino del crecimiento (no un estancamiento), un descenso de la inflación y una reducción de los tipos de interés reales (ajustados a la inflación). Cualquier explicación convincente de ellos debe dejar de insistir exclusivamente en un marco de demanda agregada y centrarse en el aumento de los mercados en ascenso, en particular China.

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