La austeridad en lugares pequeños

BRUSELAS – El interés por las políticas económicas de los países pequeños suele verse confinado a unos pocos especialistas. Pero hay momentos en que las experiencias de los pequeños países se interpretan en todo el mundo como prueba de que un cierto enfoque de política es el que mejor funciona.

Actualmente, Grecia, los países bálticos e Islandia suelen ser invocados en favor o en contra de la austeridad. Por ejemplo, el economista y Premio Nobel Paul Krugman sostiene que como el PBI de Letonia aún está un 10 % por debajo de su máximo anterior a la crisis, el enfoque de «austeridad y depresión de salarios» no funciona y que Islandia, que no se vio obligada a una austeridad impuesta desde el exterior y devaluó su moneda, parece estar mucho mejor. Otros, sin embargo, han notado que Estonia mantuvo una estricta austeridad luego de la crisis, evitó una crisis financiera y ahora crece vigorosamente nuevamente, mientras que Grecia, que demoró su ajuste fiscal durante demasiado tiempo, experimentó una profunda crisis y continúa sumida en la recesión.

Ambas partes en esta disputa suelen omitir las características idiosincráticas clave y las condiciones específicas iniciales que pueden llevar a que las comparaciones directas no tengan sentido.

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