Opinión: Más allá del PBI

Foto: La Ceguera

Jeroen van den Bergh en su paper The GDP Paradox hace una interesante crítica al uso extendido que se la hace al PBI como indicador de desarrollo. Esta crítica debería de ser conocida por la mayoría de tomadores de decisiones en el sector público y privado, así como por la población en general. Esto porque muchas veces se califica casi exclusivamente el desempeño de una gestión, ya sea de los ministros o presidentes, con base en cuánto creció el PBI en determinado tiempo, como si esto significara que un crecimiento del PBI es efectivamente un aumento de la calidad de vida de los peruanos.

El PBI representa el costo de los bienes y servicios producidos en un país por un determinado tiempo, ya sea trimestres, años, etc. Sin embargo, este no toma en cuenta los costos sociales ni los costos externos. Un ejemplo claro de esto es que un país como el Perú puede aumentar su PBI si no toma en cuenta la adopción de estándares ambientales o estándares de salud y seguridad de trabajo en la producción de bienes; aun así, esto tendría otros costos que muchas veces no se pueden medir en dinero, pero que afectan la calidad de vida de las personas y el resto de seres vivos. ¿Queremos que nuestro PBI crezca más teniendo esclavos modernos fabricando textiles o con empresas de hidrocarburos destruyendo ecosistemas únicos?

Otro de los problemas de usar el PBI y el PBI per cápita como indicador de progreso es que este no toma en cuenta la distribución de los ingresos. Así, puede existir un aumento del PBI acompañado de una gran desigualdad; sin embargo, esto usualmente se deja de lado al presentar un aumento de PBI en discursos como algo que es positivo para todos. ¿De qué sirve que el Perú crezca 2% o 3% más a comparación del año pasado si este aumento solo favorece a unos pocos privilegiados?

Finalmente cabe recordar que el PBI es,  originalmente se concibió como, un indicador macro-económico, no uno hecho para medir el aumento de la calidad de vida de las personas.  Es hora de que veamos más allá del PBI y empecemos a tomar en cuenta otros indicadores como, por ejemplo, el IDH, el Coeficiente Gini, indicadores de sostenibilidad ambiental así como de igualdad de género, etc. Hay que tomarlos en conjunto para poder ver efectivamente si nuestra calidad de vida está aumentando y no solo nuestra productividad, la cual muchas veces va en contra de nuestra calidad de vida.

Imagen: European Commission

Sebastián Rosado
Estudiante de Ciencias Políticas en la PUCP. Liberal, Verde, Demócrata, Animalista y Capitalista. Algún día espero hacer algo bueno por el mundo.

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