Fallas de mercado en capital humano. La trampa intergeneracional de la pobreza en México

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David Mayer-Foulkes

Resumen

El desarrollo humano, entendido como un sinergismo a largo plazo entre los avances tecnológicos, fisiológicos y culturales, es un factor decisivo y de largo alcance en el crecimiento económico. Sin embargo, su proceso se caracteriza por trampas intergeneracionales que retardan el crecimiento económico y que deben tomarse en cuenta en el análisis de los efectos de las reformas pro-mercado en los pobres. Verificamos empíricamente la presencia de estas trampas intergeneracionales en el caso de México, al mostrar la existencia de los siguientes elementos constitutivos. La educación presenta rendimientos crecientes que no son aprovechados por la mayoría de la población (estimadores mincerianos que incluyen estatura y escolaridad). La nutrición y la salud infantiles están fuertemente asociadas a la probabilidad de continuar en las etapas escolares sucesivas (estimadores probit para la continuación escolar tres años más, una vez controlada la educación, el ingreso y la situación económica de los padres). La población se clasifica en dos niveles sociales: con secundaria completa o menos, y con 15 o más años de escolaridad. Los avances en la escolaridad del grupo más bajo responden principalmente a la educación pública. Se analizan las fallas de mercado que podrían causar la trampa intergeneracional de acumulación de capital humano. Aun cuando las reformas pro-mercado recientes en México aumentaron los rendimientos de la educación, la presencia de la trampa impidió la inversión necesaria en capital humano, y los beneficios de la reforma fueron menores que lo esperado. Para promover el crecimiento económico a largo plazo de una manera efectiva, las reformas pro-mercado deben complementarse con políticas que apoyen la nutrición, la salud y el desarrollo infantil, así como también la educación.
Palabras clave:
crecimiento económico, desarrollo humano, salud, educación, trampa de pobreza, México

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