Porqué los chinos exportan tanto.

El NYT tiene una cita del economista del Asian Development Bank Willem Thorbecke, que describe porqué los chinos pueden exportar tanto. Según el, los subsidios encubiertos a las exportaciones son enormes y explican por qué los consumidores chinos solo reciben el 35% del producto, menos que lo que se invierte anualmente. Se trata de una enorme transferencia de recursos hacia las empresas:

In recent years, M.N.C.s in Asia have relocated more and more production to industrial clusters in China. This is because production costs in China are artificially low. For instance, restrictions on labor migration suppress wage rates; controls on interest rates lower the cost of borrowing; and inadequate enforcement of environmental laws enables firms to ignore social costs of production. Artificially low costs mean that Chinese export prices are lower and that China can sell more abroad.

The Chinese exchange rate has also been kept low relative to the dollar. This has further reduced the dollar costs of processed goods produced in China for export to the United States. It has also caused other Asian countries that compete with China in third markets to intervene and keep their exchange rates low relative to the dollar. This reduces the dollar cost of parts and components that are produced in other Asian countries and shipped to China for assembly and re-export to the United States. These low exchange rates thus reduce the dollar prices of processed exports and allow China to sell more to the United States.

As many Chinese economists have noted, artificially low wage rates and interest rates and inadequate enforcement of environmental regulations imply a huge transfer of wealth from Chinese households to businesses. Artificially low exchange rates also represent a transfer from consumers to producers because weaker exchange rates limit the amount of imports that Asian consumers can purchase from the rest of the world.

China runs enormous surpluses with the United States largely because consumers in China provide subsidies to producers. These subsidies cause consumption in China to equal only 35 percent of gross domestic product., a very low level for a country at China’s level of development. The Chinese government is committed to adopting more consumer-friendly policies in the medium run. As it does, China’s surplus with the United States should decrease also.

Gracias, Marginal Revolution.

Gasto en Salud

El Incidental Economist tiene una figura con el gasto en salud como porcentaje del producto en 31 países de la OECD (Chile aún no aparece). Claramente el gasto en salud aumenta en todas partes, pero en los EE.UU. el gasto en salud aumenta a una tasa mucho más rápida que en el resto del mundo. Claramente algo está funcionando mal en el sector salud de Estados Unidos, especialmente si consideramos que mucha gente ni siquiera tiene cobertura de seguros de salud. Esto lo diferencia de la mayor parte de los países de la muestra. Como dice el blog de Incidental Economist: Es hora de asustarse.

Gracias a Marginal Revolution.