Paul Lachine

Un error fatídico

PARÍS – La controversia es esencial para el avance de la ciencia. Así que la desacreditación de un trabajo de los economistas Carmen Reinhart y Kenneth Rogoff por problemas metodológicos y un error de codificación forma parte de la vida cotidiana académica. Sin embargo, la cobertura de la controversia por los medios y la blogósfera ha sido increíblemente intensa –y simplista.

«Crecimiento en épocas de deuda», el breve artículo escrito en 2010 en que Reinhart y Rogoff afirmaron que la deuda pública comienza a tener un efecto significativamente negativo sobre el crecimiento de la economía una vez que alcanza el 90% del PBI, nunca fue un trabajo celebrado de investigación económica. En tanto una caracterización empírica aproximada de hechos estilizados, fue recibido de manera un tanto escéptica por la comunidad académica y ambos autores eran conocidos por otras contribuciones mucho más notorias. Google Scholar, el motor de búsqueda académica, registra más de 3000 citas académicas para el trabajo más citado de Rogoff y menos de 500 para «Crecimiento en épocas de deuda».

Lo que normalmente hubiese quedado como un tema de conversación trivial postseminario, sin embargo, se convirtió en un tema de discusión para periodistas, comentaristas y responsables de política. Para todos ellos, lo que importa es que la triste suerte del trabajo de Reinhart/Rogoff erosiona la justificación de la austeridad fiscal.

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