Thursday, September 11, 2008

El mercado funciona por el miedo a perder

Megan Mcardle sabiamente comenta:

"One of the central insights of economics is that exit matters. Markets don't do better, over the long run, because people in the private sector are smarter or well meaning. They do better because they can be fired. What's more, they frequently are: firms that don't satisfy their customers go away. Look at the businesses that people in America complain most about: cell phones, utilities, cable companies, health care. What they have in common is that the end consumers do not have meaningful right of exit--those companies have at least a temporary monopoly on their customers. Private sector firms can fail spectacularly, as many financial firms just did. But the important thing is that they fail. Schools that do to education what Bear Stearns did to mortgage bonds maybe get a stern talking to from the mayor, and in extraordinary circumstances, the principal may be fired. (Though this takes year). But the school itself keeps going no matter how bad a job it is doing.

Middle-class parents instinctively know this, because they move to places where the right of exit keeps school quality high. Scarsdale knows that if it doesn't keep the schools successful, middle class parents will leave, taking their lavish tax dollars with them. Riverdale, too, knows that it needs to keep parents happy and test scores high. The New York City public school system, on the other hand, mostly has to get butts in seats, because that's how they get their money. It's not that the teachers don't want to teach kids; it's that they don't have to. And as anyone who's ever tried to write a novel in their spare time knows, anything onerous that you don't have to do generally runs afoul of other priorities. "

Infortunadamente en los gobiernos ahora se ha puesto de moda todo tipo de programas estatales de emprendimiento o apoyo a las pequeñas empresas que usan como justificación el alto número de empresas nuevas que fracasan en sus primeros años. Entonces le proponen a las empresas una exagerada planeación y gestión del riesgo, que prácticamente tiende a convertirlas en burocracias, incluso antes que empiezen a producir.

Ignoran que el mercado inevitablemente producirá muchos perdedores y algunos ganadores, y que esa condición esta en la esencia misma de lo que hace que este mecanismo produzca mejores resultados económicos que el control estatal.

El miedo a perder, a no sobrevivir, es lo que incentiva a los productores en un mercado libre a esforzarse por escuchar a los clientes, por mejorar la productividad, por innovar, por diversificarse.