quinta-feira, junho 24, 2010

O jogo do gato e do rato (parte III)

Continuado daqui e daqui.

Comecemos pela leitura do artigo “Europe’s Competitiveness Obsessionde Daniel Gros publicado a 4 de Junho de 2010.

.

Salientemos agora alguns trechos que me chamaram a atenção:

.

“The President of the European Central Bank is said to show at each meeting of the European Council a graph depicting the evolution of relative wage costs across the eurozone’s 16 member countries. This chart shows increasing divergences over the last ten years, with the countries now facing difficulties (Greece, Portugal, and Spain) having lost competitiveness by around 20% relative to Germany. In other words, since 1999, wage costs have increased by about 20% less in Germany than in southern Europe.”

.

Depois a receita habitual:

.

“The conclusion seems straightforward. The eurozone’s southern European members must reduce their wage costs to claw back the competitiveness that they have lost since adopting the common currency.

.

Se nem dentro dum mesmo sector industrial dum mesmo país há homogeneidade quanto à produtividade, como interpretar a simplificação que se segue:

.

“Competitiveness, which is usually measured in terms of unit labor costs, is a relative concept. One country’s gain is another’s loss. Restoring competitiveness in some member countries (Spain, Greece) would require others (Germany in the first instance) to accept deterioration in theirs.”

.

Há neste parágrafo qualquer coisa de estranho… o autor presume que um bloco homogéneo chamado ‘industria espanhola’ vai competir de igual para igual, no mesmo terreno que um outro bloco homogéneo chamado ‘indústria alemã’!!! Faz-lhe falta estudar as experiências de Gause sobre os protozoários.

.

“So is higher productivity the way out? Even assuming that governments could identify and implement structural reforms that yielded quick productivity gains, it is not clear that higher productivity leads to increased competitiveness.

.

In fact, across the EU, the opposite often is true. Some of the countries that achieved the highest growth in labor productivity also lost the most competitiveness (e.g. Ireland).

How is this possible? After all, higher productivity should bring lower unit labor costs. But improvements in productivity are easily overwhelmed by changes in wages. While productivity growth usually is measured in fractions of a percentage point, wage increases have been much larger.

.

Vamos repetir o pormenor porque é muito importante para o nosso argumento:

.

How is this possible? After all, higher productivity should bring lower unit labor costs. But improvements in productivity are easily overwhelmed by changes in wages. While productivity growth usually is measured in fractions of a percentage point, wage increases have been much larger.

.

A génese do título desta série de postais está aqui, o jogo do gato e do rato entre a produtividade e os salários.

.

Por fim a declaração de capitulação do autor:

.

Structural reforms are always useful, but increasing productivity takes a long time and does not always translate into higher competitiveness. What is needed in southern Europe is acceptance that domestic demand must fall to a level that allows countries to live without further capital inflows. After that, it should be sufficient to allow labor markets to work until the system finds its new equilibrium.”

.

IMHO a Alemanha é, em grande medida um bode expiatório, as empresas dos PIGS não competem directamente com as empresas alemãs, excepto em casos pontuais como a indústria automóvel. As empresas dos PIGS competem directamente com os Low-Cost Manufacturing Countries (LCMC) como a China, a Índia, ou a Europa de Leste.

.

Outro artigo “Germany’s super competitiveness: A helping hand from Eastern Europe” de Dalia Marin bate na mesma tecla:

.

“German industry has boosted the competitiveness of its exports over the past decade by keeping wages flat.
As a result, German wage restraint has led to a real depreciation of Germany’s fixed nominal exchange rate vis-à-vis its Eurozone members, helping Germany to win market shares at the expense of Southern Europe. The numbers give support to this argument. In fact, Germany’s real effective devaluation in terms of relative unit labour costs compared with the EU27 during 1994-2009 is about 20%. This is indeed substantial.”
.
Que produtos é que os europeus compram agora à Alemanha e que há 10 anos compravam internamente ou num outro PIIG? Por causa do preço!
.
Repito: Que produtos é que os europeus compram agora à Alemanha e que há 10 anos compravam internamente ou num outro PIIG? Por causa do preço!
.
Que produtos é que os europeus compram agora fora da Europa e que há 10 anos compravam internamente ou num outro PIIG? Por causa do preço!
.
ADENDA: E como é que o raciocínio de Daniel Gros se conjuga com as conclusões sobre a heterogeneidade intra-sectorial?
Continua