Sólo en Europa fue un mito el boom de las TI

La economía de Estados Unidos está a punto de recaer en la recesión, el dólar está débil y Wall Street no parece poder recuperarse. ¿Está surgiendo un escenario apocalíptico? Difícilmente. Hay que recordar que la economía de los EU terminó el año 2002 con una tasa de crecimiento anual del 2.5% (por arriba de las tendencias a largo plazo que muchos expertos, incluyendo el Banco Central Europeo, calculaban para la zona del euro).

Lo que sucede es que, a pesar de los excesos cometido entre 1999 y 2000, las dificultades económicas de los últimos dos años, y la tendencia a pensar que el boom tecnológico de los años noventa fue ilusorio, hubo cambios estructurales profundos en la economía de los EU durante esa década. El crecimiento de la productividad casi se duplicó, elevándose de apenas poco más del 1% en el periodo 1990-95, a más del 2% en 1995-2000. Además, no se ven señales de una desaceleración: en 2001-2002 el crecimiento de la productividad promedió casi el 3 %.

Las nuevas tecnologías de la información (TI) representan tal vez el 80% de la aceleración en la productividad de los EU. Además, puesto que muchos de los avances tecnológicos que se han dado recientemente en ese país casi no se han explotado, la aceleración de la productividad no es un fenómeno temporal, sino uno duradero. Mirando al futuro, esto es de importancia crucial, porque el bienestar económico de largo plazo de cualquier país depende de un crecimiento sostenido de la productividad.

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