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  • 30 marzo, 2016
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Latinoamérica: sin productividad no hay paraíso

Para retomar el crecimiento económico de los últimos años, los países de la región deberán centrarse en producir más y mejor

Por Adriana Arreaza, directora de estudios macroeconómicos de CAF.

Una de las preguntas que siempre ha mantenido en vilo a los economistas es por qué algunos países son capaces de generar un crecimiento continuo y otros no.

En otras palabras, por qué mientras alguna naciones mejoran año a año el ingreso per cápita de sus habitantes (y con ello su bienestar), otras siguen ancladas en una especie de espiral sin salida aparente.

Si reducimos nuestro análisis a la geografía latinoamericana, la respuesta se esconde, en buena medida, en una palabra clave: productividad.

Veamos por qué:

Entre 2003 y 2012, América Latina creció a una tasa promedio del 4%. De este porcentaje, menos de una cuarta parte estuvo relacionada con el aumento de la productividad (0.75% sobre 4%). En contraste, Asia creció a un ritmo del 6% en el mismo periodo y su productividad representó un tercio del crecimiento total.

Para rematar esta tendencia, desde 2012 la región ha registrado un repliegue de su productividad que ha contribuido, en gran medida, al estancamiento económico actual.

Las perspectivas a futuro tampoco son muy alentadoras. En un contexto donde las economías avanzadas crecen tímidamente –muy por debajo de los promedios anteriores a la crisis de 2008-, América Latina afronta unos años en que los vientos a favor de la economía global prácticamente habrán desaparecido.

Para paliar esta situación, la región deberá apostar por producir más y mejor y, especialmente, por mejorar la asignación de los recursos de que dispone.
¿Pero cómo pueden los países latinoamericanos aumentar su productividad?
Incentivando la innovación y las nuevas tecnologías que permiten producir más y mejores cosas, es decir, expandiendo la frontera de lo que puede producirse dados los recursos existentes. Esto abarca tanto entrar en nuevas actividades económicas de mayor valor agregado (pasar de una agricultura básica a manufacturas sofisticadas) como dar más valor a las actividades existentes (pasar de una agricultura básica a una agroindustria sofisticada). De esta rama de la productividad se derivan estrategias como la atracción de inversión extranjera directa, la promoción de la innovación o la inserción en cadenas globales valor.

El segundo punto es algo menos entendido, pero no menos importante. Se trata de que los recursos disponibles estén asignados eficientemente, de modo tal que las tecnologías existentes sean aprovechadas al máximo. Esto no es otra cosa que ubicarse por debajo de la frontera de lo que puede producirse y lo que no, junto con optimizar al máximo los recursos.

Asignar mejor los recursos para repuntar la productividad

Uno de los principales causantes de la baja productividad latinoamericana es la mala asignación de los recursos.

Quizás este ejemplo les resulte ilustrativo. Supongamos que la industria textil adopta una nueva tecnología que permite que cada trabajador produzca diez prendas por día en lugar de tres. Esto, automáticamente, empuja la frontera tecnológica y eleva la productividad. Sin embargo, las ganancias de productividad se ven severamente limitadas si una fracción importante de trabajadores no migra hacia las empresas que adoptaron la nueva tecnología y permanece en las menos productivas. En este caso, a pesar de haber desplazado la frontera tecnológica de la industria, la economía no se encuentra en la frontera y hace un uso ineficiente de sus recursos.
Estudios recientes sugieren que la productividad agregada en la región podría aumentar entre un 45 y un 127% si se erradicaran este tipo de ineficiencias. De esta manera, una forma de mejorar la productividad es a través de una asignación más eficiente de los recursos, desde las empresas menos productivas hacia las más productivas, entre sectores y al interior de los mismos.

Es importante entonces que las políticas públicas para promover el crecimiento se enfoquen en facilitar el acceso al financiamiento por parte de las empresas, mejorar el estado de las infraestructuras y la conectividad, invertir en capital humano cualificado, reducir las trabas en los procesos de apertura y quiebra de empresas, y mejorar la eficiencia de las instituciones de los estados.

Estas medidas ayudarían a que la región traspasara la frontera que le separa de una productividad saludable y, en consecuencia, contribuiría tanto a la creación de empleos de calidad como al bienestar de un mayor número de latinoamericanos.

165 Replies to “Latinoamérica: sin productividad no hay paraíso

  1. Recursos ,productividad ,valor agregado , emigración ,tecnología ,
    bienestar humano es un gran desafío si hay energía y agua en los sitios que se desarrollan las personas afectadas con estas carencias es imposible que se produzcan los hechos mencionados ,
    Básicamente uno observa que en los países y continentes que adoptaron como alternativa invertir en estas dos prioridades , si en varios años alcanzaron lo que anhelaban .

    Soy insistente pero veo y analizo algo de información que recibo y la UE tiene como prioridad la energía y apuesta muy grande a ello , otro país es UK que también están procurando obtenerla de forma económica , viable , segura , y por demás verde ello recae en los costos de combustible fósil o equipos demasiado sofisticados con tecnologías muy costosas , que no se arriesgan a promover.
    Observemos el desarrollo de la pobreza y veremos las carencias básicas que nosotros gozamos y ello hace que siempre realicemos nuevas cosas ya que el solo hecho de ir a buscar agua insume horas en los humildes..
    Que muchos de nosotros no lo pensamos o sabemos.
    Aun hay que pensar en los medios rurales que dispongan de las mismas condiciones que gozamos los de las ciudades ,
    La Indis esta en un proceso de unificación de medios disponibles en tod su territorio con igualdad, el resultado se esta viendo en muy poco tiempo , dos o tes años la diferencia es notable , Las inversiones en capacitación media y alta , posibilidad del ingreso irrestricto de estudiantes sin erogar dinero. So grandes logros que una mente de muy certera visión esta logrando , y otra importantisima es unificar las comunidades sin diferencias sociales o religiosas y políticas . sin tener que las armas diriman cuestiones de humanos con dignidad y valor real a la vida

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