martes, 29 de diciembre de 2015

New Macroeconomic Lessons From the recent Past: Recent Concise Notes regarding Argentine Macroecomic mistakes from inflation stages

New lessons about the Argentine macroeconomic behavior have shown us since the last ten years at least. But, why do we consider that the current situation is a set of mistakes? It is an interesting question for several reasons. Mainly, because some academic economists, and policy makers, especially on the government side, have argued that Latin American Developing countries has a complex behavior regarding its macroeconomic aspects, and its consequences are problems which have been in Argentina for the last years. Assuming this, we consider that there is a misconception to explain the current situation. Especially if we note that the Argentine macroeconomic maladies do not exist in other developing countries. From this regard, inflation is one of the problems which affects our country although it is an almost unique situation in the world.   

On the whole, Argentina has several problems as a consequence of the macroeconomic mismanagement, i.e., a short run economic policy. From our point of view, these mistakes have generated from wrong and unsustainable macroeconomic policy, and we have to take it as lessons for the immediate future.

First and foremost, from our point of view, policy makers have to view the economic growth as a balance in all economic aspects such as demand and supply side. On the other hand, the persistence of the strong acceleration in growth may be unsuitable. Although, there is special cases like China, the faster the economic growth, the higher probability of economic distortions. Thus, we agree with balancing economic growth instead of the deep economic accelerations. Policy makers have to generate a balance in the dynamic of the economy. From these respects, the following are our main arguments about it.   

Firstly, we consider that a consistent push demand and the income policy have been negative, because it has been unsuitable according to the supply dynamic. Especially if we see the long term, because their scope has been ineffective, and we have to think on a systemic perspective when we manage the national macroeconomic in an integrated economic framework. From this perspective, the economic history has great resources to explain that the persistency of the increase in the public and private expenditures, combined to the expansion of the income policy, generate a dangerous source for the future. In such framework, we remember the so called structuralism view which considers that in economies like Argentina, there is a deep external economic restraint from the current account of the balance of payments as a result of applying an industrial policy which needs imports goods like machines. So, if the income increases faster than the supply´s fundamentals at a high persistence, there will be two stages.

The first is related to the increase of inflation. At the very beginning, people do not recognize the loss of their real income, as a result of the increase of the nominal wages. This effect is called money illusion. However, the growth of goods prices would higher than the income. Thus, there will be great inconsistencies on the nominal economic variables side. For instance, a cup of coffee may be more expensive than a monthly tax public service.  

The next economic stage is associated with the appearance of external economic restraints, and the fall of the economic growth. In such framework, there are financial constraints, because of foreign money. Additionally, the pursuit of controlling the national inflation may generate several policies such as exchange rate controls, and limitations on prices. Although these policies may be effective on the short run, the sustainable on the long run will be almost impossible, because of the generation of price inconsistencies which makes difficult the stabilization of nominal variables to one direction. It was noted in several opportunities like in the seventies and eighties. In that time, many Argentine presidents applied this economic policy with negative consequences. The economic policy perspective, that tried to manage the macroeconomic misalignments, had a weak ability to resolve those current problems.

This framework was characterized for less economic tools than the economic objectives, and chaos. Therefore, policy makers thought about solving the macroeconomic instability and economic external constraints by controlling nominal variables like wages, and prices. This perspective could be effective, but motivated more problems. The main problem was the unstable economic dynamic. For instance, if there was an opportunity to adjust prices, not only the retailers remark their prices, but also there was an inflationary inertia that push up prices faster than if there was a stable economy.
This second stage was mainly observed as an inflation process. The key fact was the past inflation which generates inflationary expectations, and therefore, a critical inflationary inertia. Thus, there are two possibilities to stabilize the macroeconomic nominal variables: on the one hand, an orthodox program that attacks some nominal variables such as exchange rate, quantity of money, etc., and on the other hand, a systemic program that not only regulates nominal variables, but also the economic expectations.

The first option is very famous in Latin America. The political economy of the last century was characterized by this type of programs such as the so called IMF economic programs.

The second type is wider than the first, because its perspective is systemic. A suitable view to attack an inflation process should be related to the administration of several economic variables. It is associated with a socio-economic agreement to pursue the inflation deceleration. The macroeconomic policy should responsible for coordinating domestic price makers like interest rates, wages, amount of money, public expenditures, domestic prices, and corporate investment in many economic sectors. It could be possible by the coordination of expectations and building an agreement to modify prices once for all, and then, fixing it. From this perspective, we think that this macroeconomic coordination should minimized the growth of the inflation tax, and then, stabilizing the inflation dynamic in the medium run. This process is gradual but suitable for the objective. Additionally, we have to recognize that the essential tool to this program is the political side. The core of a macroeconomic program is the political aspect, i.e., the power of the program.


Finally, as in life, we have two alternatives. One is related to the short run. Another is an agreement which it is built step by step where the way is large, and unfriendly, but the end could be successful.        

lunes, 7 de septiembre de 2015

Revelación de preferencias respecto al corto o largo plazo en períodos de elección presidencial: Similitudes respecto al caso argentino

Los años de elecciones son muy particulares en todos los países democráticos. Ciertos vientos de renovación y esperanza se perciben o se crean alrededor de apatías y desconfianza sobre la gestión que se va y la que viene. Analistas  que optimizan verdades disimiles y creadas para vender, mejorar y afectar una imagen determinada de un universo de candidatos que, desde la oferta, es tan restrictivo como determinado para el electorado. En ese escenario usualmente se plantean grandes desafíos para las sociedades que habitualmente parecen no estar tan materializados como se debería esperar. Solo recordar que la administración de lo público va a estar en manos de un grupo reducido de personas que, con mayor o menor discrecionalidad, administrarán los recursos de la sociedad aplicando nuevas políticas y/o cierta continuidad de las anteriores.

Sin dudas, esos momentos son interesantes para notar ciertas características de la sociedad e intentar realizar una tipificación respecto al conjunto restante  con especial referencia a su grado de desarrollo en general, aunque nuestra preferencia sea la visión economicista. Para este objetivo, una de los aspectos notables se refiere a las diferencias entre las sociedades que revelan sus preferencias temporales desde el voto hacia la continuidad o el cambio, es decir, si es posible diferenciar a los candidatos por sus futuros planes de gobierno de acuerdo al corto o largo plazo de sus futuras acciones de gobierno. En ese sentido, podemos utilizar una estrategia,  algo arbitraria por cierto, para determinar esas características al diferenciar el tipo de propuesta de acción de gobierno de cada candidato. Adicionalmente, al realizar esa diferenciación podemos proponer otra característica la cual se considera determinante para el futuro de la sociedad. Esta última se refiere a la decisión de optar o no por el desarrollo económico. Por este, entendemos el conjunto de acciones, esencialmente de política económica, que privilegien la sostenibilidad del crecimiento económico de largo plazo en lugar del sesgo hacia el corto plazo. Esto podría pensarse como la búsqueda por situarse en la senda estable de largo plazo en lugar de las dinámicas abruptas caracterizadas por una gran volatilidad que se observan al gestionar políticas con   horizontes temporales reducidos.

Para ese objetivo proponemos diferenciar las medidas de política económica en base a dos aspectos particulares: el primero se refiere al conjunto de acciones que benefician el corto plazo, es decir, políticas con importancia relativa en la demanda, ya sean directa o indirectamente a través de supuestos planes de distribución e integración socio-económica. Por otra parte, las medidas, que no solo activaran la demanda agregada, sino que intentarán sostener la inversión productiva que generará empleo, diversificación de la matriz productiva y una mejor distribución del valor agregado en el mediano y largo plazo.

En esa diferenciación de política proponemos sucintamente un marco desde el denominado modelo macroeconómico de Oferta Agregada – Demanda Agregada. Mediante el mismo podemos establecer el patrón de cada política con las siguientes ecuaciones:

  • Demanda Agregada o Gasto Bruto Interno: Consumo + Inversión + Gasto Público+ Exportaciones -Importaciones.

  • Oferta Agregada: f (Capital, Tecnología, Trabajo)
Si bien, la demanda agregada se compone de la inversión en la economía en un momento determinado, el objetivo es mostrar los efectos de políticas económicas que privilegian el consumo y el gasto público, es decir, políticas de sesgo cortoplacista.
La oferta agregada depende positivamente del capital productivo (maquinarias y equipos), la tecnología del momento (incluido el know how empresarial) y la dotación de trabajo.

1-      Política económica de empuje a la demanda agregada:

La gestión de política económica que observe con importancia relativa el push de demanda, principalmente el aumento del gasto público y el consumo en bienes y servicios finales, tendrá beneficios en el corto plazo, pues los consumidores tendrán un aumento del bienestar a través del aumento de la demanda. Esto se observará, por ejemplo, si se decide gestionar políticas de aumentos de salarios, subsidios al consumo y servicios a sectores sociales con ingresos medios y altos, e incrementos del gasto público corriente, por encima de las políticas de oferta. A su vez, estas políticas, al evaluarlas exitosas, pueden sostenerse por un período determinado a pesar de las distorsiones de precios generadas y, transcurrido un tiempo, posibles crisis económicas.   
Debido a la expansión del consumo, la demanda agregada se desplazará principalmente por ese  aumento en el consumo y el gasto público, lo cual motivará cierto bienestar. Esta dinámica,  si es sostenida en el mediano plazo, ineludiblemente activará el mecanismo de precios mediante la ausencia de políticas de oferta que amplíen la frontera productiva ya que los componentes de  oferta tienen una necesidad temporal mayor para generar los efectos esperados en comparación a los determinantes de demanda.
El mecanismo de precios parcializará el primer efecto positivo sobre el bienestar dado por el  aumento de la demanda agregada.  En segunda instancia, el empuje a la demanda se contrae situando a la economía en un punto inferior en relación al efecto inmediato posterior lo que redundará en un menor bienestar al observado por los consumidores ya que el aumento en el nivel de precios genera no solo un equilibrio potencial menor sino también efectos desfavorables sobre la distribución del ingreso que interrumpirán el eventual proceso y profundizarán la desigualdad. Finalmente, este último caso se tornará sustancialmente importante ante aumentos de salarios por debajo de los niveles de inflación y en un mercado laboral con una gran proporción de trabajadores en la informalidad. Adicionalmente, las distorsiones de precios y los efectos negativos mencionados, principalmente sobre los asalariados, se profundizarán en contextos de sostenibilidad de la política fiscal expansiva en detrimento de políticas que impulsen la oferta agregada.
Esa dinámica puede ser explosiva ante el sostenimiento de la política de impulso al gasto por encima de la expansión de los fundamentos de la oferta. Crisis fiscal que culminen en regímenes de alta inflación, desequilibrios del balance de pagos y modificaciones abruptas del tipo ce cambio pueden ser, en este sentido, algunos ejemplos de la historia económica reciente. 

2-      Política económica equilibrada de expansión de oferta y demanda: desarrollo productivo en el mediano y largo plazo

El caso de una política económica que tenga un objetivo equilibrado sobre los fundamentos de  la oferta y demanda se torna, indudablemente, un aspecto interesante luego de observar los efectos de la política económica citados anteriormente. El sostenimiento de una expansión del gasto de la economía dado por el consumo y/o gasto público corriente se tornará en una dinámica insustentable ya que el mecanismo de precios limitará, y en el límite anulará, los efectos sociales de un mayor bienestar.

En ese escenario, matizar el aumento unilateral del consumo en aras del aumento de la inversión con vistas a expandir la frontera productiva y generar las condiciones para la diversificación de la misma, es uno de los desafíos que se deben internalizar en la sociedad. En este sentido, si el plan económico es gestionar una política de expansión del crédito productivo, aumento de la inversión pública y extranjera junto con programas que generen un mayor espacio productivo, los elementos que dinamizan los precios serán minimizados dando lugar a una mayor certidumbre sobre la estabilidad nominal de la economía. Estas condiciones se tornan fundamentales para la estructura productiva, pues la certidumbre sobre el horizonte económico y la estabilidad configuran una mayor resiliencia frente a perturbaciones no esperadas.   

En este caso, ante una política de demanda expansiva, es dable de destacar que en el corto plazo se producirá cierto suavizamiento del aumento de la demanda y el bienestar a causa de una mejor administración de la primera. Sin embargo, el mediano y largo plazo estarán caracterizados por un sendero de crecimiento económico sustentable. El efecto favorable de la administración de la  demanda y la oferta se observará en la segunda instancia del aumento de la primera. La oferta podrá enfrentar el aumento de la demanda sin mediar aumentos sostenidos del nivel de precios. La variable que ajustará ese mecanismo será la expansión productiva, es decir, la posibilidad que la economía suministre mayor oferta de bienes y servicios para un determinado nivel de precios en el nuevo nivel de las cantidades demandas.  

Conformar un desarrollo de los componentes de oferta, ya sea la productividad, y la dotación de capital y trabajo, redundarán en una mayor capacidad y potencial productivo. Esa mayor capacidad se reflejará en mejores condiciones macroeconómicas las cuales también podrán dar lugar a una mayor diversificación de la estructura productiva del país lo que, a su vez, será fuente de suavizamiento ante posibles choques comerciales.

Desde esas dos políticas económicas opuestas, podemos dilucidar entonces que tipo de decisión realizará una sociedad determinada en materia de estabilidad y desarrollo económico luego de tener acceso al set de políticas que cada candidato propone. En este sentido, algunas sociedades podrán elegir la senda del crecimiento de largo plazo premiando a los candidatos que racionalicen los recursos y posibiliten la expansión productiva. Mientras que otras pueden optar por continuar expandiendo su consumo y bienestar en el corto plazo sin ponderaciones hacia el futuro junto con sus posibles inestabilidades y crisis económicas.

Si bien desde el sucinto y sencillo análisis estático presentado no podemos extrapolar las consecuencias mencionadas hacia cualquier sociedad, en general, los efectos de los dos tipos de gestión de política económica tienen grandes similitudes. La historia económica argentina reciente, con sus matices, es una de las que ha mostrado el sesgo hacia el corto plazo. Tal vez sea el momento apropiado para realizar modificaciones de nuestras preferencias electorales en aras de evitar las consecuencias obvias de nuestras elecciones del pasado reciente. Al menos, desde nuestra perspectiva, sería cívica y económicamente saludable.         

jueves, 29 de enero de 2015

El Uso No Deseado de Extrapolaciones en Hechos Sociales

Estimados amig@s:
                                Esperamos que hayan comenzado un buen año a pesar de todos los pesares. En esta oportunidad les dejo un link de una nueva contribución muy relacionada al contexto argentino actual. El link los traslada a nuestra sucursal en Rankia. Que lo disfruten y, como siempre, con gusto responderemos las críticas y/o comentarios. 

Saludos!.

http://www.rankia.com.ar/blog/economia-eclectica/2646457-uso-no-deseado-extrapolaciones-hechos-sociales
 

sábado, 29 de noviembre de 2014

Macroeconomics and its new challenges


Undoubtedly we have had a great progress in the economic thought in the twentieth century, especially about in the technical methods employed in this discipline. However, there are many facts which challenge our experience and knowledge. These facts are related to several economic facts like the financial crises. Perhaps, the last financial crisis is an interesting lesson for us.

After this financial crisis we found many lessons to learn, especially about the complexity of macroeconomics with focus on some aspects such as the monetary side economics. Mainly, it is related to aspects which have an essential role in the generation of financial crises.

Although it seems a known history and this note is only a brief summary about this topic, we want to consider the actions of the banks in the whole economic reality as a result of the new great disruptions. Undoubtedly it is a difficult objective because firstly, we clearly do not know about the possible future economic reactions in a certain framework, but the economic knowledge often has more details to tell us about several facts in the economic framework. Furthermore, one of these aspects is very important for the future.

The role of the banks in several crises was determinant, because they created a great expansion of money through loans that contributed for the generation of more risk in the markets. In this framework, the behavior of agents always was inconsistent, especially between their wealth, and their future income. On the other hand, we have to recognize a deep deficit in the macroeconomic literature. The role of banks in the classical macroeconomic models, such as the IS-LM, had been irrelevant until the last financial crisis on September, 2008. This was an important economic difficulty for the economic analysis. Thus, we have two main facts to discuss about it.   

Beginning to the first argument, as a stylized fact, the growth of the importance of the money market always has been important in the previous path of financial disruptions. Over the past several crises, banks and financial agents were the main channel to create deep expansions at the time of the booms. In this context, financial regulations were inadequate, at least. Plainly, while the supply of money was growing, the expectations of agents build a framework where there were biases related to misconceptions. The huge creation of money was the key factor, because the perceptions of agents supported the irrational boom. Debts had been growing very faster creating financial fragility on agents´ balance sheets.

Therefore, the misconception was the mistake of identifying the consistency of the cycle in many occasions. In effect, since the last several crises, there has been a great mistake from taking economic decisions by using short run information that it would have long run effect. So, the Kutnez´ s hypothesis is essential in this regard.

We have to realize that economic booms always are transitory, but surely it would affect the near future. Not only always be the uncertainty in world economy, but also there are many factors to consider about risk. Commonly, economic behavior used to think on taking excess risk but it should have thought on the sustainability of this behavior. The future is uncertain, but also is so risk to forget the consequences.                                        

The other key fact is related to the macroeconomic literature. Currently, there are many papers which consider banks as an important part of the models. In fact, it was necessary to revert, at least in part, the traditional position of the main macroeconomic line of thought.  Plainly, the absence of banks in the macroeconomic analysis in several papers has contributed to expand the unknown facts about financial crises. However, we must remember that the most important economists about the history of money discussed deeply about this topic. For instance, Bagehot, Mises, Menger and others, had contributed to show the advantages and disadvantages from the role of the banks; mainly about the role of the central banks.

From this second argument, there are some lessons related to banks and their acts, particularly in financial markets, and in general in the economic framework .From these respects, I have two main observations to consider.

First and foremost, the continuous growth of the new technologies related to information has been essential not only to increase our possibilities to improve our lifestyle, but also to generate dangerous situations, at least in the financial markets. In this framework, the exclusion of banks, as determinant players, from macroeconomic analysis and the great set of information have been determinant to build an unsafe economic environment. As a result, financial crises have been very hard to explain, because banks generate credit money which expands the passives of the economic agents. Until September, 2008; the risk of these passives were minimized by a process called securitization. Banks, companies, and households had though that they had all the information that they needed, but it was a problematic fact. The increase in the generation of information did not equal to the capacity of the whole agents and institutions to absorb it. Although, if we disregard our limitation related to the huge information, we have to recognize that there was a great generation of debt. From this respect, many financial sheets had begun to deteriorate, because the passives were riskiest, and the policy makers did not control it.

The information about those positions seemed correct. However, policy makers and the financial regulations could not control it, because there was a deeply asymmetry in the information that had built an enormous set of inconsistencies. Undoubtedly, those facts were the main aspect which contributed to the beginning of the crisis. 

On the other hand, macroeconomic stability is an excellent purpose not only for important social aspects such as poverty, employment and development, but also to built economic confidence. Certainly, financial constraints are huge limitations for all of these purposes. Therefore, we have a difficult situation about the financial side economics, because banks and financial agents are essential for economic development, but it is almost opposite to the macroeconomic stability.   
Finally, we have two main facts which have helped us to improve our economic knowledge in a complex framework. However, the high speed of creation of information builds more risk. Thus, we have new macroeconomic challenges, and it demands new points of view about it which it is also a challenge.

domingo, 27 de abril de 2014

Sobre la relación entre las expectativas de devaluación y la liquidación de exportaciones

Después de mucho tiempo sin escribir, les dejo el link a una nueva nota en nuestra franquicia de Rankia. Es una simple racionalización de la relación entre el esquema de devaluación gradual que tuvimos en Argentina hasta antes de la devaluación de Enero y la liquidación de exportaciones agropecuarias:

http://www.rankia.com.ar/blog/economia-eclectica/2268340-relacion-expectativas-devaluacion-liquidacion-exportaciones

Espero que lo disfruten y colaboren con opiniones, comentarios y críticas en la página de Rankia.

lunes, 21 de abril de 2014

Apuntes sobre complejidad macroeconómica

Estimados amigos, les dejo una nueva contribución acerca de algunos aspectos de complejidad en el comportamiento macroeconómico con una pequeña mención al gran Maestro García Márquez:

http://www.rankia.com.ar/blog/economia-eclectica/2259952-apuntes-complejidad-macroeconomica

Saludos!.