segunda-feira, 19 de setembro de 2016

Lista de preocupações econômicas, 1798-2016

Deste discurso de Deirdre McCloskey, para quem a economia deve voltar a ser a "ciência otimista da riqueza" ao invés da "ciência pessimista da escassez" – e para quem as imperfeições da economia de mercado não impediram o mundo de enriquecer boa parte de uma população sete vezes maior do que em 1800 (e vão continuar não impedindo):

1. Malthus worried that workers would proliferate and
2. Ricardo worried that the owners of land would engorge the national product.
3. Marx worried, or celebrated, depending on how one views historical
materialism, that owners of capital would at least make a brave attempt to
engorge it.
4. Mill worried, or celebrated, depending on how one views the sick hurry of
modern life, that the stationary state was around the corner. Then the
economists, many on the left but some also on the right, in quick succession
1848 to the present—at the same time that trade-tested betterment was
driving real wages up and up and up by a factor of anywhere from 30 to 100,
3,000 to 10,000 percent—commenced worrying about, to name a few of the
grounds for imperfections and pessimisms they discerned concerning
5. greed (offensive to Christians)
6. alienation (as in the Young Marx)
7. the uneducated taste of the workers in consumption
8. the drinking habits of the workers (thus Knut Wicksell; Irving Fisher)
9. infant industries (List in Germany, Carey in the United States)
10. national histories of economies, as against “English” economics (the German
Historical School)
11. lack of bargaining strength by the workers
12. racial impurity
13. women working
14. immigration of lesser breeds
15. the race to the bottom in wages and the eugenic solution (advocated by most
of the American economics profession c. 1900)
16. neoclassical theory being insufficiently evolutionary (Veblen; Alchian)
17. monopoly and the trusts (see Hovenkamp’s article on “the first law and
economics movement”)
18. imperialism, the last stage of capitalism (Lenin; Hobson)
19. imperialism as robbery
20. adulterated food if no regulation
21. Veblen effects: demand curve slopes up
22. unemployment (a new word with Beveridge’s book of 1909)
23. lack of coordination (rationalization in the 1920s)
24. the government is wise and good, unlike self-interested markets
25. business cycles (eventually Schumpeter; Hayek; Keynes)
26. underinvestment in increasing-returns industries (as Pigou argued)
27. externalities
28. under-consumption (dating back to Malthus and the general glut; then
Keynes; now the neo-Keynesians)
29. monopolistic competition
30. separation of ownership from control (Berle and Means)
31. lack of planning (vs. Mises)
32. the economy is embedded in society (Karl Polanyi)
33. price-fixing markets are only recent, and optional (Karl Polanyi; vs. Michael
34. post-War stagnationism (Keynes, Hansen)
35. investment spillovers
36. unbalanced growth (Hirschman; French indicative planning)
37. capital insufficiency (Harrod/Domar/Solow models; William Easterly on
“capital fundamentalism”)
38. businesspeople do not price by marginal cost or marginal revenue, but by
average plus markups
39. predatory pricing leads to monopoly
40. few competitors in an “industry” leads away from price = marginal cost
41. absence of entrepreneurs in certain cultures
42. dual labor markets (W. Arthur Lewis)
43. cost-push inflation (Otto Eckstein)
44. capital-market imperfections
45. peasant irrationality (vs. Theodore Schultz)
46. cultural irrationality
47. economic behavior has motives beyond self-interest
48. low-level traps, cycle of poverty (W. Arthur Lewis)
49. prisoner’s dilemma (and much later Elinor Ostrom’s reply)
50. failure to define property rights (Alchian, Demsetz, Coase: one of a few, like
those immediately following here, from the political right)
51. overfishing (H. Scott Gordon [195X] and Anthony Scott [1955])
52. tragedy of the commons (Garrett Hardin)
53. over-population (Hardin’s motive)
54. transaction costs (Coase)
55. public goods cannot be supplied privately (Samuelson; vs. Coase, Demsetz)
56. public choice (Buchanan, Tullock)
57. regulatory capture (ICC case Gabriel Kolko; Stigler)
58. free riding (Mancur Olson)
59. missing markets (George Akerlof; Joseph Stiglitz)
60. the Cambridge capital controversy and the undefinability of capital (Piero
Sraffa; Joan Robinson; Geoffrey Harcourt; see above, Ricardo)
61. informational asymmetry (Akerlof)
62. unions as good monopolies (H. Gregg Lewis tested it 1955-1980)
63. third-world exploitation (see above, imperialism)
64. advertising (Galbraith)
65. public underinvestment (Galbraith)
66. fine tuning of the economy can work
67. large scale econometric models are the way forward
68. the invisible hand is mere magic unless proven mathematically
69. the conditions sufficient in logic for invisible-hand results are unreasonable
(Hahn; Arrow; Debreu)
70. false trades out of equilibrium make it impossible to conclude that supply =
demand is optimal
71. any imperfection throws economic analysis into a hopeless world of secondbest
72. all policy arguments, such as the effect of minimum wages, must be
expressed in general equilibrium, or else they are inconclusive
73. most economic propositions, such as downward sloping demand curves, are
only provable econometrically
74. most econometric results have serious flaws
75. history is irrelevant: what matters is the future
76. history is decisive: what matters is the past
77. middle-income trap
78. path dependency (Paul David)
79. the economy is a complex system, with chaos and catastrophe
80. worker cooperatives are always better than corporations, but are lamentably
81. lack of international competitiveness
82. consumerism (see above, bad taste of workers)
83. consumption externalities (Robert Frank)
84. unemployment and inefficiency results from menu costs in the product
market (neo-Keynesian neoclassicism)
85. knowledge has zero opportunity cost, but is expensive to produce (Paul
86. irrationality (behavioral economics)
87. irrational entrepreneurs (Schumpeter; Keynes; Akerlof and Schiller)
88. hyperbolic discounting
89. too big to fail
90. environmental degradation
91. underpaying of care workers (Nancy Folbre)
92. GDP is a poor indicator of anything important
93. prices are influenced by an unjust distribution of income, and therefore are
irrelevant to policy for a just society
94. profit is against people; profit vs. social well-being
95. overpayment of CEOs
96. artificially high wages cause labor-saving innovation (Kaldor; Habakkuk;
Allen; Robert Reich)
97. the government has innovated most (Mazzucatto)
98. any imperfection—orphan drugs, for example—shows that capitalism is bad
on balance, even if the imperfection is caused by government
99. neo-liberalism has impoverished people worldwide
100. neo-stagnationism (Tyler Cowen; Robert Gordon 2016 )
101. rising inequality in future (Thomas Piketty)

A lista também deve servir como um superteste de História do Pensamento Econômico. Um dia consigo entender tudo.

segunda-feira, 12 de setembro de 2016

A crise de representação no Brasil

O blog anda parado porque tenho gastado todo o meu tempo livre tentando entender, à la Santiago Zavala, em que momento o Brasil se fodeu. (Mentira, ando mesmo é com bloqueio de escritor, ou preguiça, a depender da generosidade do leitor). De qualquer forma, com relação à pergunta, li hoje três coisas interessantes:

Frances Hagopian coloca como origem da atual crise de representação a divergência entre a expansão de accountability horizontal e a falha dos partidos em capturar a demanda emergente por representação política:

"Why are voters ready to see the ouster of a president
to whom they gave a second term just two years ago? Why, given
Brazil’s great strides in building a more inclusive democracy buttressed
by stronger institutions of horizontal accountability—which have been
key to exposing the Petrobras scandal—are we witnessing such political
turmoil? What underlies the current crisis?
The answer is that stronger horizontal accountability institutions and
an expanded citizenship have paradoxically eroded the bonds of vertical
accountability. Brazil’s recent achievements in empowering accountability
institutions and enforcement agencies and broadening sociopolitical inclusion
have generated demands for political representation that the existing
party system has not been able to meet. The work of judicial institutions
now throws corruption (hardly a new phenomenon) into starker relief. At
the same time, the stabilization of the economy and the expansion of access
to social services and income support have made citizens less reliant
on patronage and more demanding of local and national governments."

Mainwaring, Power e Bizzarro apontam que o relativo sucesso econômico do Brasil até poucos anos atrás ajudou a institucionalizar o sistema de partidos, algo que está em risco com a crise corrente e os dois principais partidos programáticos do país catando os cacos do que já foram por aí. O reverso da institucionalização é o personalismo da política no Peru ou o caos da Venezuela.

Alguma esperança? De novo, Hagopian:

"The protests of recent years in Brazil are a sobering reminder that
democracies need representative institutions to reach citizens, to express
their aspirations, and to translate their preferences into effective governing
solutions. But the protests also offer a ray of hope: Even in hard
times, and with popular anger at the political class threatening to boil
over, Brazilians find their democracy worth taking part in, and respect
the institutions that safeguard it."

E, no mesmo tom, a (grande) coluna desta semana do Michael Reid na The Economist:

 "... in Brazil, with its strong parliamentary tradition, no president can govern against Congress. When Ms Rousseff brandishes her 54m votes in the presidential election of 2014 as a defence, she forgets that they were for Mr Temer too, and that the senators have an equally valid democratic mandate. Brazil has thus offered a tutorial in constitutional theory to the likes of Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s dictatorial president. The legacy of a divisive impeachment is not all bad."