O que é este blog?
Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.
domingo, 8 de julho de 2018
quarta-feira, 2 de março de 2016
A lei dos retornos decrescentes provavelmente se aplica a todos os campos de conhecimento, ou melhor, de pesquisa acadêmica, terreno no qual nós -- inclusive eu próprio -- começamos a nos repetir, a fazer muito Lavoisier, a repassar e reutilizar pesquisas antigas com novos argumentos que não acrescentam muito ao já elaborado.
Quanto à ideologização, ela é muito mais disseminada nas ciências sociais, ou nas humanidades em geral, do que propriamente na economia, onde a seriedade precisa ser maior. Os puramente ideológicos, em economia, acabam ficando isolados, e são considerados bichos estranhos, embora ocorra muita matematização da "economics", o que acaba se afastando da "political economy", mas é o padrão das faculdades americanas atualmente.
Não creio que tenha havido uma desconexão entre a pesquisa acadêmica e as políticas públicas, em quaisquer setores que se possa pensar. A academia continua produzindo bons trabalhos, mas são os governos que desprezam as boas pesquisas para decisões catastróficas.
Concordo, no entanto, que pesquisas puramente universitárias podem estar cedendo terreno para pesquisas fora das universidades, nos famosos think tanks, mas este é um fenômeno americano, não brasileiro.
Não sei se o governo está penalizando o trabalho nos EUA. No Brasil certamente, pois diferentes políticas são totalmente anti-empregos, não apenas uma legislação laboral fascista, uma justiça do trabalho anacrônica e coisas absurdas como o salários mínimo, em geral e nacionalmente unifirme.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
The Transformation of Economics
Five big changes I’ve seen over the past half-century. One is economics as ideology in camouflage.
By Richard K. Vedder
The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2016 6:30 p.m. ET
Like most economics professors, I have spent my academic lifetime examining the economic and public-policy effects of issues involving the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services—what is known as political economy. There is, however, a “political economy” to the very act of producing and disseminating economic knowledge and examining public policies. And that political economy and my assessment of it has changed over a career spanning more than half a century. Here are five developments I would emphasize:
• Diminishing returns to research. A core economic principle is the Law of Diminishing Returns. If you add more resources, such as labor, to fixed quantities of another resource, such as land, output eventually rises by smaller and smaller amounts. That applies—with a vengeance—to academic research. Teaching loads have fallen dramatically (although the Education Department, which probably can tell you how many Hispanic female anthropologists there are teaching in Arkansas, does not publish regular teaching-load statistics), ostensibly to allow more research. But the 50th paper on a topic seldom adds as much understanding as the first or second. Emory University’s Mark Bauerlein once showed that scholarly papers on Shakespeare averaged about 1,000 a year—three a day. Who reads them? How much does a typical paper add at the margin to the insights that Shakespeare gave us 400 years ago?
• Economics as ideology in camouflage. Economists who achieve fame for genuine intellectual insights, like Paul Krugman, sometimes then morph into ideologues—predominantly although not exclusively on the left. The leftish domination of American academia is partly explained by economics. Federal student-loan programs, state appropriations, special tax preferences and federal research-overhead funds have underwritten academic prosperity, even at so-called private schools. The leftish agenda today is one of big government; academics are rent-seekers who generally don’t bite the hand that feeds them. The problem is even worse in other “social sciences.”
• A disconnect between economic reality and public policy. Three examples come to mind. First, the Keynesian orthodoxy of fiscal stimulus of the 1950s and 1960s, with its Phillips curves and the like, was shown to be spectacularly wrongheaded. The U.S. experience of the 1970s and the Japanese “lost decade” of the 1990s are two demonstrations. Second, centrally planned authoritarian states with no private property or free markets (e.g., the former Soviet Union or North Korea) have been shown to be monumentally inefficient and not permanently sustainable. Third, nations with some free-enterprise capitalism but with growing redistributionist welfare states start stagnating economically—Europe beginning after 1970, the U.S. after 2000. Yet many economists (including at the Federal Reserve) still champion Keynesian policies and welfare-state expansions such as ObamaCare.
• The rise of the nonuniversity research centers. A reaction to the liberal ideological orientation and inefficiencies of colleges has spawned this phenomenon. When I was attending college around 1960, the Brookings Institution, National Bureau of Economic Research and the Hoover Institution were among relatively few major independent think tanks. Today there are many, especially ones funded on the right to provide intellectual diversity, including nationally or regionally oriented centers such as the American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute, as well as dozens of state-policy think tanks. Universities have lost market share in social-science research.
• A major cause of America’s economic malaise: the government’s war on work. My own research with Lowell Gallaway has stressed the importance of labor costs in explaining output and employment fluctuations. If the price of something rises, people buy less of it—including labor. Thus governmental interferences such as minimum-wage laws lower the quantity of labor demanded, while high taxes on labor reduces labor supply, as do public payments to people for not working.
One reason living standards in the U.S. have stagnated: There were 12.7 million fewer Americans working in January than there would have been with the 2000 employment-population ratio. Disability insurance claims have roughly tripled in the past generation (despite greater inherent workplace safety because of the declining relative importance of manufacturing and mining); government-subsidized student loans and grants have lured younger Americans away from work; extended unemployment benefits prolonged unemployment; and food stamps now go to nearly 30 million more Americans than 15 years ago. The government has provided much more income that is only available if people do not work. So fewer do. As Charles Murray has noted, this phenomenon has contributed to declining social cohesion and arguably even largely explains Donald Trump’s electoral success.
Modern computer technology and increased econometric sophistication sometimes yield useful information about the way the world works economically. But those gains are at least partially offset by the sharp decline in historical consciousness—today’s scholars sometimes think they know it all, having an arrogance arising from historical ignorance, often wasting time and energy relearning lessons that those with a good sense of economic history already know. It is still satisfying, after half a century, to try to counter that ignorance, and to teach young people the logic of the price system, the importance of private property and other institutions for freedom and prosperity.
Mr. Vedder teaches economics at Ohio University and is an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This op-ed is adapted from an article in the Winter 2016 issue of the Cato Journal [http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2016/2/cato-journal-v36n1-1.pdf]
terça-feira, 4 de novembro de 2014
Disponibilizado na plataforma Academia.edu
sexta-feira, 14 de junho de 2013
segunda-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2012
Unifor debate temas da política externa
As Perspectivas de Multipolaridade, Meio Ambiente e Caminhos da Cooperação Academia-Diplomacia foram os temas discutidos, ontem, no segundo e último dia da Conferência sobre Relações Exteriores (Core), realizada na Universidade de Fortaleza (Unifor). O evento, que reuniu diplomatas, representantes governamentais e acadêmicos teve como objetivo debater os principais temas da política externa brasileira em 2012.
Entre os assuntos em discussão estiveram os megaeventos esportivos, a situação econômica internacional, os desafios da paz e segurança internacional, reforma do Conselho de Segurança da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU). Na ocasião, foi apresentado o painel sobre os caminhos da cooperação da academia e diplomacia.
Conforme o coordenador do Núcleo de Estudos Internacionais da Unifor, professor Walber Muniz, o evento foi realizado com a ideia de aproximar os diplomatas das universidades visando uma melhor relação para o pensamento mais dinâmico nas questões que envolvem interesse nacional no trato da política externa brasileira.
De acordo com ele, o evento foi organizado com muita seriedade e competência pela Fundação Edson Queiroz e Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão (Funag), sendo a primeira conferência de relações exteriores realizada pela Funag em uma universidade de fora do eixo Brasília - Rio de Janeiro. "A Universidade de Fortaleza é pioneira nesse sentido. É uma experiência para que outras universidades sigam o exemplo e contribuam com esse novo pensamento do MRE (Ministério das Relações Exteriores) no aprofundamento de discussões sobre a política externa do Brasil nos tempos atuais", destacou.
terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2012
segunda-feira, 2 de agosto de 2010
Não me lembro, porém, de ter lido nenhum alerta, no Brasil ou na região, contra essa situação.
Talvez o "fenômeno" também seja comum aos EUA, como se depreende da matéria abaixo.
Mas, lá, temos pelo menos um exemplo de análise crítica e bisturi analítico que não é complacente com a estabilidade e (no caso deles) os altos salários e baixa produtividade das academias americanas.
Cabe refletir sobre o "fenômeno". Espero que algum acadêmico mais sensato escreva algo a respeito no Brasil e proponha reformas, mas estou duvidando seriamente de que isso tenha alguma chance de ser feito any time soon.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
By Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus
(Times Books, 271 pages, $26)
Ignorance By Degrees
By Mark Bauerlein
The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2010
Colleges serve the people who work there more than the students who desperately need to learn something.
Higher education may be heading for a reckoning. For a long time, despite the occasional charge of liberal dogma on campus or of a watered-down curriculum, people tended to think the best of the college and university they attended. Perhaps they attributed their career success or that of their friends to a diploma. Or they felt moved by a particular professor or class. Or they received treatment at a university hospital or otherwise profited from university-based scientific research. Or they just loved March Madness.
Recently, though, a new public skepticism has surfaced, with galling facts to back it up. Over the past 30 years, the average cost of college tuition and fees has risen 250% for private schools and nearly 300% for public schools (in constant dollars). The salaries of professors have also risen much faster than those of other occupations. At Stanford, to take but one example, the salaries of full professors have leapt 58% in constant dollars since the mid-1980s. College presidents do even better. From 1992 to 2008, NYU's presidential salary climbed to $1.27 million from $443,000. By 2008, a dozen presidents had passed the million-dollar mark.
Meanwhile, tenured and tenure-track professors spend ever less time with students. In 1975, 43% of college teachers were classified as "contingent"—that is, they were temporary instructors and graduate students; today that rate is 70%. Colleges boast of high faculty-to-student ratios, but in practice most courses have a part-timer at the podium.
Elite colleges justify the light teaching loads of their professors—Yale requires only three courses a year, with a semester off every third year—by claiming that the members of their faculty spend their time producing important research. A glance at scholarly journals or university-press catalogs might make one wonder how much of this "research" is advancing knowledge and how much is part of a guild's need to credentialize its members. In any case, time spent for research is time taken away from students. The remoteness of professors may help explain why about 30% of enrolling students drop out of college only a few months after arriving.
At the same time, the administrator-to-student ratio is growing. In fact, it has doubled since 1976. The administrative field has diversified into exotic specialties such as Credential Specialist, Coordinator of Learning Immersion Experiences and Dietetic Internship Director.
In "Higher Education?" Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus describe such conditions in vivid detail. They offer statistics, anecdotes and first-person accounts— concerning tuition, tenure and teaching loads, among much else—to draw up a powerful, if rambling, indictment of academic careerism. The authors are not shy about making biting judgments along the way.
Of the 3,015 papers delivered at the 2007 meeting of the American Sociological Association, the authors say, few "needed to be written." As for one of the most prestigious universities in the world, "the mediocrity of Harvard undergraduate teaching is an open secret of the Ivy League." Much of the research for scholarly articles and lectures is "just compost to bulk up résumés." College presidents succeed not by showing strong, imaginative leadership but "by extending their school's terrain." Indeed, "hardly any of them have done anything memorable, apart perhaps from firing a popular athletic coach." For all the high-minded talk, Mr. Hacker and Ms. Dreifus conclude, colleges and universities serve the people who work there more than the parents and taxpayers who pay for "higher education" or the students who so desperately need it.
Take the adjunct issue. Everyone knows that colleges increasingly staff courses with part-time instructors who earn meager pay and no benefits. But who wants to eliminate the practice? Administrators like it because it saves money, professors because it saves them from teaching labor-intensive courses. And adjuncts themselves would rather continue at minimum wage than leave the profession altogether. In a "coda," Mr. Hacker and Ms. Dreifus declare that "it is immoral and unseemly to have a person teaching exactly the same class as an ensconced faculty member, but for one-sixth the pay." Perhaps so, but without a united faction mobilized against it, such "immorality" won't stop anytime soon.
But some change may still be possible. A lot of criticism of academia hasn't stuck in the past, Mr. Hacker and Ms. Dreifus imply, because people have almost unthinkingly believed in the economic power of the degree. Yes, you didn't learn a lot, and the professors blew you off—the reasoning went—but if you got a diploma the job offers would follow. But that logic may no longer be so compelling. With the economy tightening and tales of graduates stuck in low-paying jobs with $50,000 in student loans, college doesn't look like an automatic bargain.
We need some hard cost accounting and comparisons, Mr. Hacker and Ms. Dreifus argue, and so they end "Higher Education?" with capsule summaries of, as they put it, "Schools We Like"—that is, schools that offer superior undergraduate educations at relatively low cost. The list includes Ole Miss, Cooper Union, Berea College, Arizona State and Western Oregon University. "We think a low cost should be a major determinant in any college decision," the authors wisely conclude, for "a debt-free beginning is worth far more than a name-brand imprimatur."
Mr. Bauerlein, the author of "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future," teaches at Emory University.
sábado, 3 de abril de 2010
On Apr 3, 2010, at 5:34 PM, Axxxxx Pxxxxx xx Sxxxx Rxxx wrote:
Gostaria de esclarecimento sobre a criação dos planos economicos, período e situações reais para trabalho acadêmico de economia sobre os planos econômicos criados desde 1986 até os dias de hoje com fontes confiáveis. Obrigado, Axxxxx.
Minha única resposta foi:
Eu tambem gostaria. Quando voce encontrar, por favor, me avise...
Paulo Roberto Almeida