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诺奖得主:当前的经济框架所基于的理念都是错的!

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对话2001年诺贝尔经济学奖得主约瑟夫·斯蒂格利茨

本文为网易研究局与罗汉堂联合出品的《新经济思想系列》文章,未经授权请勿转载

·聚焦国际思想市场·解析财经新闻热点·对话国际经济学大师

当前经济框架基于这一信念,即减税、自由化、金融全球化、贸易自由化可促进经济更快增长,并增加每个人的福祉。现在我们意识到这些想法是错误的。当今世界面临着多种问题的集合,其中许多问题相互关联。这是我们的政治制度迄今未能有效应对的真正挑战。我们的经济增长放缓,经济增长不够稳定,这在2008年至2009年的危机中得到了证明。

有限的经济增长成果没有被广泛分享,所以很大一部分人的收入停滞不前,甚至下降。这在社会或政治层面上必然是不可持续的。我们看到,不平等和气候变化问题日益加剧,在机器人自动化的趋势下,我们担忧是否还能创造足够就业机会。如果不能解决这些问题,就会产生严重的后果。

其中一个基本的谬误是所谓的涓滴经济学,该理论从来没有真正成为标准经济理论的一部分,但却成为许多银行,特别是发展中国家制定经济政策的关键思想。那就是,只要经济得到发展,每个人都会受益。我们知道事实并非如此。你可能可以说这个概念的推论,即全球化本身会促进经济增长,每个人都会更好。

实际上,经济理论在支持自由贸易方面更为合理。例如,许多年前我曾指出,如果风险市场不完善,贸易全球化的风险就会增加。其后果是,所有国家的每个人的生活都可能变得更糟。这意味着,在开放市场之前,你应该确保市场运转良好。另一众所周知,但政策制定者并未谈到的问题是,就业机会的减少速度可能快于就业机会的创造速度。如果资本市场运行不佳,这一点就尤其正确,而资本市场从来都不完美。

如上所说,政府在促进创造就业机会,和帮助人们从被淘汰的工作岗位转移到正在创造的新工作岗位方面,发挥着重要作用。有趣的是,特别是在像美国这样的国家,那些推动自由化的人,同时还反对帮助人们进行调整的援助。如果不这样做,每个人的生活都会变得更糟,或者经济增长会受到阻碍。现在主要批判的是,既有认知并没有得到重视。例如,对我们理解贸易最重要的贡献之一是保罗·萨缪尔森及其同事提出的一系列定理。这些定理表明,在发达国家,自由化、贸易全球化会降低非技术工人的收入。当他们推动贸易全球化时,甚至没有人提到这一点。这一理论晦涩难懂,他们没有解释其中的谬误。事实证明,这一理论合理的地方不多。此外,还有一系列其他谬论,同样不是基于我所说的现代经济科学,但被广泛接受。部分原因在于:人们使用了简单化的模型。

另一个例子是,市场是高效的。我和同事布鲁斯·格林沃尔德对经济学的贡献之一就是说明,只要信息不对称或风险市场不健全,市场通常就不高效。我们知道,市场既不高效,也不稳定。然而,政策制定者和许多经济学家的做法似乎是,“经济学告诉我们,市场总是高效且稳定的。”我根据我在世界银行担任首席经济学家的观察写了一本书,名为《全球化及其不满》,我指出,发展中国家和新兴市场对全球化的不满实际上是合理的。

现在我们从特朗普和美国的保护主义者那里听到,全球化对美国不公平。但是全球化怎么会对发展中的新兴国家不利,对美国也不利呢?怎么会发展中国家和美国都不满呢?如果每个人都反对,为什么全球化还在进行?有一个很简单的答案,那就是企业。企业发展的影响是,降低美国工资水平,但确实帮助很多发展中国家的人摆脱贫困。这个过程要受盈利欲望驱动。例如知识产权,增加了大制药公司的利润,牺牲了在世界各地患者获得救命药物的机会。

全球化没有发挥应有作用的原因之一是,治理全球化的规则是为了公司的利益而制定。我们需要重写全球化规则,例如全球贸易的规则,使之有利于公民。解决对全球化不满的一种方法是,提出一个理念,即有补偿方案的全球化,或引入社会保障的全球化。这显然很有必要。我们没有提供应该提供的社会保障,我认为这在政治上不再可信。人们并不真的有信心,也不再相信不论怎样我们都会得到保障。

我们有民主制度,当共和党掌权时,他们会削减那些已经提出的社会保障支出。如果我们要在全球化的基础上真正实现持续的经济增长,就要拥抱可能威胁就业的技术变革。我们必须对经济体系进行更深入的改革,建立新的社会契约,确保增长具有包容性,确保共享繁荣。因此,这一切必须从根本上与我们的经济体系运作方式紧密相连。


English Version:

It was widely accepted that the current economic framework which was predicated on the belief that lowering taxes, liberalization, financial globalization and trade liberalization would lead to faster economic growth and to increase everybody's well being. However, peopleare now realized that those ideas were wrong. To be more specifically, the world today is facing a confluence of several problems and many of which are interrelated. Those are some real challenges that so far our political system has not been able to address effectively. These days the economic growth has been slower and less stable, just as the same situation evidenced by the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis. Because the fruits of what limited economic growth were not widely shared, consequently, large fractions of the population saw their incomes stagnated or even decline. This may even socially or politically hurt the sustainability of the whole world. Nowadays, people can see it in the growing inequality, the problems of climate change and so on. They even worry about whether human beings will be able to create enough jobs with robotization. In other words, the challenges are far more serious than we previously thought.

One of the fundamental fallacies was a notion called trickle down economics, which was never really a part of a standard economic theory. Unfortunately, it became a key idea of economic policy formation in banks and countries in many developing countries. The main idea of this theory was that everybody will be benefited only if the economy was in growth statement and we know that is not true. Some people may hold there were corollaries of this notion that globalization would itself lead to the growth of economies so that everybody would be better off. In fact, the economic theory was much more qualified in its endorsement of free trade. For instance, once I showed that if risk markets were imperfect, there would be lots of increasing risks for trade globalization.  Consequently, everybody around the world could be worse off. Most importantly, before liberalizing, a country ought to think about making sure the market is working well.

Another example ,which was well known but yet not talked about by policy makers, was the fact that job destruction could occur faster than job creation. That would be  particularly true if capital markets didn't work well, and it seems like they never were perfect. There was an important role for government to both facilitate job creation and help peoplemove from the jobs that were being destroyed to the new jobs that were being created. Interestingly, particularly in countries like the United States, those who were pushing for liberalization, said the republican party at the same time opposed assistance that would have helped people make the adjustment. Actually,everybody could be worse off or growth could be hindered in the absence of that.

Today much of what the criticism is that what was known was not emphasized. For instance, one of the most important contributions in our understanding of trade were a series of theorems claimed by Paul Samuelson and some of his associates. The theorems show that in advance countries, liberalization and trade globalization would lower the incomes ofunskilled workers. However, no one even mentioned this when they were pushing for trade globalization. Although those were arcane theories, they didn't even explain what was wrong with the theories. In fact, it turned out that  those theories are no more than a grain of truths. Certainly, there existed a wholeset of other fallacies of that were not based on modern economic science as well. The reason why they were widely held was mainly because that people were using simplistic models when explaining economic scenarios.

The last example is that markets are efficient. One of my contributions to economics with my colleague Bruce Greenwald was that we found whenever information was imperfect asymmetry or risk markets were incomplete, the markets are not always in general efficient. We have known that markets are neither efficient nor stable, yet policy makers and many economists have always said that "economics taught us that markets were always efficient and stable."

Once I wrote a book called 《Globalization and its Discontents》, based on what I've seen as chief economist of the World Bank, suggesting that the discontent for one sows globalization in the developing countries and emerging  markets was in fact justified. Now we heard from Trump and protectionists inAmerica that globalization was unfair to the United States. How can globalization be bad for developing emerging countries and even for the United States? If everybody is against it, why is globalization still proceeding as it was? The simple answer was a corporate agenda. It was an agenda that had the effect of lowering wages in the United States, which did help many people move out of poverty in the developing countries, but yet driven mainly by the desires to increase profits. We can see it clearly when looking at the intellectual property agenda, which has increased the profits of big pharma at the expense of access to life saving medicines all over the world. One of the reasons that globalization has not worked as well as it should have worked is that the rules governing globalization have been written to benefit the corporate interests. We need to rewrite the rules of globalization. For instance, rewriting the rules of global trade in ways that can work for the advantage of citizens.

Personally speaking, I think one approach to solve the discontents toward globalization is an idea that has been put forward, which is called globalization with compensation or globalization with somesocial protection. That's clearly  necessary since governments didn't provide the social protection that they should have provided to people. But politically that is no longer credible, for people don't really feel confident that, no matter what we say, the social protection will actually be provided. When the republicans get in power, they will cut back those kinds of social protections that have been put forward under the democratic system. If we really want to have sustained economic growth based on globalization and get ready of welcoming oftechnical change that can threaten jobs, we have to have a deeper reform in oureconomic system. That is, make a new social contract that ensures the growth isinclusive, and the world can share its prosperity. So it has to be much more fundamentally wired into the way our economic system works.

作者简介:

约瑟夫·斯蒂格利茨,美国经济学家,美国哥伦比亚大学校级教授(University Professor),哥伦比亚大学政策对话倡议组织(Initiativefor Policy Dialogue)主席。他于1979年获得约翰·贝茨·克拉克奖(John BatesClark Medal),2001年获得诺贝尔经济学奖,他的重要贡献使得IPCC获得2007年诺贝尔和平奖。1993年至1997年,美国总统经济顾问委员会成员及主席,1997年至1999年,任世界银行资深副行长兼首席经济学家。2011至2014年,任国际经济学协会主席。

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