¿Por qué tienen éxito los judíos?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – En los últimos decenios, los economistas han estado esforzándose por utilizar el concepto de capital humano, con frecuencia definido como las capacidades, aptitudes, conocimientos y disposiciones que contribuyen al éxito económico. Sin embargo, quienes utilizan ese término con frecuencia dan por sentado que conceptualizar un fenómeno es el primer paso para manejarlo y, de hecho, la “política en materia de capital humano” está ahora muy de moda, pero, ¿y si muchas de las capacidades y disposiciones de que se trate son un producto de la Historia, que se pueda entender y explicar, pero no reproducir fácilmente?

Simon Kuznets, uno de los grandes economistas del siglo XX, fue un adelantado de la teoría del capital humano. Poco antes de morir, Kuznets recomendó a un colega joven que estudiara el papel de los judíos en la vida económica.

En general, los economistas y otros científicos sociales han pasado por alto la historia de los judíos y el capitalismo, por razones comprensibles, aunque poco convincentes. El grado de influencia que las predisposiciones culturales anteriores han tenido en la configuración del capitalismo moderno causa a la mayoría de los economistas perplejidad, en el mejor de los casos, cuando no lo consideran simplemente un  factor que desechar.

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