viernes, 11 de mayo de 2007

Evolution, Immigration and Trade

Por medio de Greg Mankiv, llegue a este articulo donde mezcla el comportamiento de los agentes económicos y la teoría de la evolución de Darwin. Básicamente, parte de la idea de que el contexto socioeconómico del pasado (de muchos muchos años) van siendo incorporados al comportamiento humano. Por ejemplo, una vez leí un articulo que argumentaba que poseemos de manera innata un rechazo a los malos gustos (si bien esto difiere en cada individuo, el rechazo al gusto del veneno justamente por ser veneno y sus efectos es casi para todos). Esto es muy interesante:
As primates, which are a very social order, our ancestors lived in relatively small groups in which everyone knew everyone else. Our minds are adapted to deal with populations of that size. Our ancestors made strong distinctions between members of the in-group and outsiders, and we still make such distinctions today -- social psychologists can create in-group and out-group feelings based on virtually any arbitrary difference between populations.
Dicho esto, pensemos en los tiempos modernos económicos:
Yet our evolutionary intuition is that, because foreign workers gain from trade and immigrant workers gain from joining the U.S. economy, native-born workers must lose. This zero-sum thinking leads us to see trade and immigration as conflict ("trade wars," "immigrant invaders") when trade and immigration actually produce cooperation and mutual benefit, the exact opposite of conflict.
Por lo tanto, si tomamos lo que dijimos primero acerca de cómo nuestro comportamiento en general esta influenciado por la arquitectura humana a lo largo de los años y además, tomamos este experimento sobre intercambiar excedentes, podemos concluir:
The in-group and out-group intuitions help fuel opposition to expanded trade and immigration. The public intuitively believes that the beneficiaries of such policies will be foreigners, and it is easy to arouse suspicion about those who are not part of our in-group. When coupled with zero-sum thinking, this is a powerful political tool. For instance, a domestic industry or collection of domestic workers, when having difficulty competing with foreign or immigrant competitors, can use innate dislike of outsiders when advocating for increased barriers...
As the evolutionary inheritors of small-group societies, our minds sometimes have difficulty appreciating risks, harms and benefits experienced by a large population. In a group of 100 people, when we observe something that has happened to someone, it is a reasonably likely event. In a society of 300 million, when we learn about something happening to one person, it may be an extremely unlikely event, but we often perceive it as likely when we see it on the news. This instinct also shapes our perspective on trade and immigration. We understandably have great sympathy for workers who lose their jobs because they can't compete with foreign workers, but we have difficulty appreciating the benefit that our nation of consumers gains from the products of foreign laborers.
As products of evolution, humans cannot help but be born with certain biases. But we are not condemned to this evolutionary programming; we can identify the biases and recognize when they lead us astray in the modern world.
No estoy seguro, pero puede que haya algo de todo esto, de todas maneras no deja de ser extremadamente interesante.

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