Monday, April 21, 2008

El dogma intervencionista

"Economists usually assume that people are motivated by self-interest, but for many years they implicitly assumed that once the government employed a person, his motivations changed to unselfish and his knowledge became infinite. No economist ever stated this assumption; rather, this was a hidden assumption in discussing the role of the government. This assumption allowed economists to treat the government as a solution to problems. If, for example, the private market did not perform well, the government could remedy the problem. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s that economists fully realized that they had made what was for them a most unusual assumption about behavior. Some of the most interesting and informative research undertaken in the 1970s was that which asked what would one expect if one assumes that those who work for the government are in fact no different from the rest of us, and that they seek only their own self-interest. This research suggested that the government might often make a bad situation worse."

Esto es de Robert Schenk en el excelente texto online "Cibereconomics". Por supuesto, quien puso en duda ese supuesto fue la teoría de la elección publica de James Buchanan y otros.