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Austerità: errore degli errori


L'economista Paul Krugman spiega perché le politiche di austerità sono una vera e propria "cantonata".

DeLong and Summers on fiscal policy in a depressed economy is out. The headline point is the argument that austerity when you’re in the liquidity trap may well worsen, not improve, your long-run fiscal position; I’ve been making the same point for a couple of years, but Brad/Larry present some evidence from the birth of Eurosclerosis and the downgrading of US potential output estimates since the crisis began.

They also emphasize the crucial point that even if austerity doesn’t literally worsen the long-run position, it does at best very little to improve that position — yet imposes large current costs. So the cost-benefit analysis is overwhelmingly in favor of stimulus as long as you’re in the liquidity trap.


And what that says, in turn, is that the embrace of austerity by policy and political elites in late 2009 and early 2010 was an almost inconceivably terrible blunder. The result of that embrace was the imposition of huge economic and human costs, with little if any benefit.

I’ve been posting various versions of a scatterplot showing the relationship between one indicator of fiscal policy and growth since the crisis began. Here’s a version restricted to eurozone countries and countries maintaining a fixed exchange rate against the euro, with many of the countries labeled:

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