sábado, 19 de febrero de 2011

Waldman sobre Cowen

¿Se acuerdan de aquello de Hayek? Los precios informan a los que participan en el mercado sobre qué hacer. El último libro de Tyler Cowen da la ocasión a Steve Randy Waldman para decir lo siguiente:
rather than a paucity of new technologies, we might be experiencing a breakdown of an older gizmo that economists refer to as “markets”. As our economy tilts away from sectors in which value (however defined) and financial revenue are reliably cojoined, our primary means of orienting our behavior towards valuable activity, individually and collectively, become less and less effective. We simply don’t know what we ought to do. So we err. If the quality of economic decisionmaking is poorer than it was in past, that has consequences for welfare.
Es decir, que ni el sector de la educación, ni en el sector de la salud, ni en el sector financiero tenemos mercados disponibles que nos aseguren que los ingresos de las instituciones educativas, sanitarias y financieras (lo que los consumidores se gastan en ellos) se corresponden con el valor que nos entregan a cambio, de manera que podemos estar asignando pésimamente los recursos. Y la cosa es más grave porque educación y salud son los dos sectores en los que gastamos cada vez más recursos sociales.
Ultimately, different technological regimes are incommensurable in welfare terms…. Ultimately, society is a game and big technological changes rescramble both the available strategies and payouts, leading to changes that are unpredictable both in form and in terms of welfare
it’s pretty clear that from the inside, intelligent people struggle unsuccessfully to find means to overcome barriers that prevent them from picking delicacies that are hanging in front of their noses. We might be in a similar situation, with plenty of technological fruit ripe for the picking, but invisible barriers — political, cultural, whatever — that prevent us from doing so.
With each technological change, new social institutions had to arise to sustain dispersed purchasing power despite a reduction of numbers and bargaining power of workers in old industries. Displaced workers ultimately did find new work, but only because the new social institutions “artificially” created buyers for all the things displaced workers reinvented themselves to sell.

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