Kdo je zašuštral?

Paul Krugman se sprašuje, kdo je v zadnjih petih letih zašuštral – ekonomisti ali tisti, ki kreirajo ekonomsko politiko? Mnogi ekonomisti so resnično precej zabluzili z idealiziranjem kapitalizma in popolnosti tržnega gospodarstva, mnogi so naredili raziskave ali napovedi, ki so se pokazale kot napačne (glede negativnega vpliva dolga na rast, glede nujnosti fiskalnega varčevanja, glede izbruha inflacije itd.) in ne kažejo znakov priznavanja napak, kaj šele kesanja. Toda kreatorji ekonomske politike so tisti, ki so naredili izbor ekonomskih idej in napovedi, ki so jim ustrezale, da bi z njimi podkrepili svoje lastne načrte.

Edina, ampak res redina, inštitucija, ki je priznala svoje napake in spremenila priporočila glede ekonomske politike, je IMF pod vodstvom glavnega ekonomista Oliviera Blancharda. Ostali vztrajajo na starem kurzu, čeprav se je izkazal kot katastrofalno napačen.

In what sense did economics go astray? Hardly anyone predicted the 2008 crisis… More damning was the widespread conviction among economists that such a crisis couldn’t happen. Underlying this complacency was the dominance of an idealized vision of capitalism, in which individuals are always rational and markets always function perfectly. …

Still, many applied economists retained a more realistic vision of the world, and textbook macroeconomics, while it didn’t predict the crisis, did a pretty good job of predicting how things would play out in the aftermath. …

But while economic models didn’t perform all that badly…, all too many influential economists did — refusing to acknowledge error, letting naked partisanship trump analysis, or both. …

But would it have mattered if economists had behaved better? Or would people in power have done the same thing regardless?

If you imagine that policy makers have spent the past five or six years in thrall to economic orthodoxy, you’ve been misled. On the contrary, key decision makers have been highly receptive to innovative, unorthodox economic ideas — ideas that also happen to be wrong but which offered excuses to do what these decision makers wanted to do anyway. …

I’m not saying either that economics is in good shape or that its flaws don’t matter. It isn’t, they do, and I’m all for rethinking and reforming a field.

The big problem with economic policy is not, however, that conventional economics doesn’t tell us what to do. In fact, the world would be in much better shape than it is if real-world policy had reflected the lessons of Econ 101. If we’ve made a hash of things — and we have — the fault lies not in our textbooks, but in ourselves.

Vir: Paul Krugman, New York Times

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