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专访林毅夫:美国不该怪全球化!问题出在硅谷和华尔街

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本文为网易研究局与罗汉堂联合出品的《新经济思维系列》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

        

作者|林毅夫(北京大学国家发展研究院名誉院长、北京大学新结构经济学研究院院长)

经济发展的本质是结构转型的过程

我们在全球化过程中遇到了一些问题,但全球化成了替罪羊,全球化不是美国国内问题的主要原因。如果我们试图遏制全球化趋势,面临的将是反全球化。一方面,国内问题无法得到解决。另一方面,增长和发展会变得更加艰难。

新结构经济学试图提倡用现代经济学的方法来研究经济发展过程中结构和结构演变的决定因素。因为在我看来,经济发展的本质是一个结构转型的过程。从农业到制造业再到服务型经济,从更传统的技术到更现代的技术。而在这个过程中,还需要完善“硬”基础设施和制度。所有这些都是经济的结构。

经济发展是一个结构变化的过程。 我提倡用现代经济学的方法来研究结构和结构演变的决定因素,当提到结构和结构演化的决定因素时,我认为结构具有内生性,结构变化也是内生的,需要了解哪些因素导致了不同发展水平的国家经济结构的差异,以及如何从低生产力水平的结构向更高生产力水平的结构迈进,从而增加一国的收入。这就是新结构经济学研究的重点。

我为什么称之为新结构经济学呢?因为第二次世界大战以后出现的第一代发展经济学基于结构主义。我试图将我的研究与结构主义区分开来。所以,我称之为新结构经济学,就像20世纪60年代道格拉斯·诺斯开始提倡运用现代经济学方法来研究机构与制度变迁,他本应把自己的研究称为“制度经济学”。但因为在19世纪末、20世纪初的时候,美国有制度学派,他想把自己的方法与制度学派区别开来。所以,现在他把这类研究称为"新制度经济学"。因此,新结构经济学与新制度经济学在“新”的层面上有着相同含义。但总体而言,新结构经济学运用了现代经济手段,来研究一国经济发展中结构和结构转型的决定因素。

对传统行业的保护和补贴必不可少

中国自1978年至今,年均增长率约为9.4%。这是人类历史上的奇迹,因为我们从未看到中国在如此长的时间里有如此高的增长率。当然,中国之所以能有如此成绩,从一个方面来说,是因为中国从以农业为主的贫穷经济体转型为以制造业为主的现代经济体。而在这个过程中,中国一步步进行了工业化。当然,这也可以用结构转型来解释。但另一方面,中国在这一过程中也从计划经济向市场经济过渡。与其他转型经济不同,中国能够同时保持稳定和强劲的经济增长。虽然这些经济体的意图同样是从计划经济转向市场经济,却经历了经济崩溃和停滞,且不时遭受危机的打击。但中国保持了稳定和强劲的经济增长,这也与中国在转型前处理市场扭曲的方式有关。因为扭曲本身也是内生的。而转型经济中市场扭曲的主要原因在于,因转型前的发展战略,国家接手了一些既有产业结构。

正如上文所讲,经济结构应具有内生性。第二次世界大战之后,不少发展中国家获得了独立,他们想要立即追赶上高收入国家,所以他们发展了所有先进的产业,但他们在这些领域并没有比较优势,这些重点产业的公司没有生存能力。如果没有政府的保护和补贴,它们就无法生存。在转型经济中,发展中国家接管了很多这种无法生存的公司。中国之所以能够保持稳定,是因为中国在转型中采取了务实的双轨制。在转型期间,政府继续提供必要的保护和补贴给较传统的产业,从而保持稳定。但中国也放开了对新产业的准入,也就是与中国比较优势相一致的劳动密集型产业,并通过改善工业园区的基础设施来促进这些产业的增长,又或通过出口加工区或经济特区,从而将这类产业的比较优势迅速转变为国家竞争力。这就是为什么中国能够保持稳定和强劲的经济增长。

与此同时,这一做法也为取消对传统行业的保护和补贴创造了条件。对传统行业的保护和补贴必不可少,主要是因为这些行业是中国的比较优势。但如果有新的行业迅速发展起来,资本就会迅速积累,中国的比较优势也会很快发生变化。因此,所有行业都会改变——从与国家的比较优势不一致,到与国家的比较优势相一致。当行业的比较优势与国家相一致时,保护和补贴就不再必要,可以取消了。这就是为什么中国能够保持稳定和强劲的经济增长,并且像运行良好的市场经济靠拢,因为当比较优势与中国改革方向相一致时,政府就可以取消暂时性的保护和补贴。

全球化不是美国国内问题的主因

个人认为,在全球化时期,我们也观察到美国或其他高收入国家的一些问题。例如,收入差距的扩大,以及美国和其他欧洲国家中产阶级所占比例的下降。这些问题造成了社会矛盾。但我们也需要弄清楚,中产阶级收入的停滞以及收入差距的扩大,真的是全球化造成的吗?许多经验证据或研究表明,事实并非如此。

蓝领阶层收入的停滞,主要是因为高收入国家采用了自动化技术。而中产阶级所占比例下降的主要原因,一方面在于金融行业将财富集中在华尔街,另一方面,技术天才将财富集中在硅谷。以上两大因素导致收入差距拉开。

所以我要再次强调,全球化,当然促进了贸易。贸易对所有参与的国家来说都是双赢的。在这一过程中,我们遇到了一些问题,但全球化成了替罪羊。全球化不是美国国内问题的主要原因。如果我们试图遏制全球化趋势,面临的将是反全球化。一方面,国内问题不会得到解决。另一方面,个别国家和全球的增长和发展会处于更加艰难的境地。所以我还是认为,就像解决贸易失衡问题一样,如果真的想改善问题,就必须了解问题的真正原因。否则,善意的行为也可能造成恶果。

English Version:

Globalization has become a scapegoat. Globalization is not the main reason for the domestic problems. And if we try to reduce the globalization, what we have is anti-globalization. On the one hand, you will not solve your domestic problem. On the other hand, you make the growth and the development more challenging.

The New Structural Economics is trying to advocate the use of modern economic approach to study the determinant, the determinants of structural evolution in the process of economic development. Because what I see the nature of economic development is a process of structural transformation from agriculture to manufacturing to service-oriented economy, from more traditional technology to more modern technologies. And in this process, you also need to improve the hard infrastructure and institutions. And all those are structures in the economy.

And economic development is a process of structural changes. And I advocate using modern economic approach to study the determinants of the structure and structural evolution. When I say the determinant of structure and structural evolution, it means structure is endogenous. And structural changes, it's also endogenous. And in order to understand what causing the difference in economic structure in country at a different level of development and how to move from low level of productivity structure to higher-level productivity structure, so you can have the increase income in a country. So that is the main focus of the study of New Structural Economics.

But how do I call them New Structural Economics? Because the first generation of Development Economics which emerged after the Second War is structuralism. And I tried to distinguish my studies from the structuralism. So I call it New Structural Economics, just like in the 1960s when Douglass North started to advocate the use of modern economic (studies) approach to study institution and institutional changes. He should have referred his study as Institutional Economics, but because there was an institutional school in the US at the end of the 19th century, early 20th century, and he wanted to distinguish his approach from the institutional school. So now he referred those type of research as "New Institutional Economics." So New Structural Economics, the new had the same implication as New Institution Economics. But overall, it's the use of modern economic approach to study the determinants of structural and structural transformation in a country's economic development.

China, since 1978 to now, the average annual growth rate was about 9.4%. It was miracle in human history because we never observed such a high growth rate to occur in our country for such a long time. And the possibility for China to achieve that, on one dimension, certainly, it was a transformation from a poor agrarian economy to modern manufacturing economies. And in this process, China climbed up the industrial ladders step by step. And that certainly can be explained by the structural transformation that I just described. But on the other hand, China in this process also transit from a planned economy to a market economy. And China was able to maintain stability and dynamic economic growth simultaneously, unlike other transition economy. Although the intention was similar to move from planned economy to market economy, but they encountered economic collapse and stagnation and hit by crisis from time to time. But China maintain stability and dynamic economic growth. That was also related to how China cope with the distortion before the transition, because distortion itself are also endogenous. And the main reason for the distortions in a transition economy was because the country inherited with some kind of industrial structure due to the development strategies before the transition.

As I mentioned, economic structure should be endogenous. But we know that after the Second World War, the country gaining the independence, they wanted to catch up the high-income country immediately. So they developed all those advanced industries. But they did not have comparative advantages in those kind of sectors.  And the firms in those kind of priority industries were not viable.  And without the government protection and subsidies, then they cannot survive. In a transition economy, they inherited a lot of those kind of non-viable firms. And China was able to maintain stability because China adopted a pragmatic dual-track approach in the transition. In a period, the government continued to provide some kind of necessary protection and subsidies to the older industries to maintain stability. But China also liberalized the entry to the new industry, which are labor intensive, which were consistent with China's comparative advantages, and also facilitate their growth by improving infrastructure in the industrial park, or export processing zone, or special economic zone,  so turn those kind of industry from comparative advantages to national competitiveness quickly. And that was the reason why China can maintain stability and dynamic economic growth.

In the same time, this approach also creates a condition to remove the protection and subsidies to the older sectors. The main reason the protection and subsidy to the older sectors were essential, because they were again China's comparative advantages. But if we have new sectors to grow very rapidly, capital will be accumulated very rapidly, and comparative in the country will change very quickly. So all the sectors will be changing from against the country's competitive advantages to be consistent with the country's comparative advantages. When they are consistent with the country's comparative advantages, protection and subsidies will be not necessary and can be removed. And that is the reason why China can maintain stability and dynamic economic growth, and move very close to the well-functioning market economy because the government can eliminate the transitory protection and subsidies when the comparative advantages were consistent with China's changes.

Well, I think that during the period of globalization, we also observed some issues in the US or other high-income country. For example, the incretion increases in the income disparity, and also the declining of the share of the middle class in the US and other European country. Those kind of problems causing some kind of social tensions. But we also need to understand the stagnation of the income of the middle class and the enlargement of income disparity. Are they really caused by the globalization or not? I think a lot of empirical evidence or studies show actually not.

The stagnation of the income of the blue class is mainly because of the automation that been adopted in high-income country. And the declining shares of the middle class are mainly caused, on the one hand, the concentration of the wealth in the Wall Street by the financial sectors, as well as the concentration of wealth in the Silicon Valley by those technological geniuses. And those causing the income disparities.

So I would, again, globalization, certainly, it improved the possibility of trade. And trade is always a win-win for all the countries involved. And in this process, we have some problems. But globalization becomes a scapegoat. Globalization is not the main reason for the domestic problems. If we try to reduce the globalization, what we have is anti-globalization. On the one hand, you will not solve your domestic problem.

On the other hand, you make the growth and the development in the individual country and globally in a more challenging situation. So I think that, again, just like try to address the issue of trade imbalances, if you really want to improve the problems, we need to understand the true causes of the problem. Otherwise, the action with good intention may bring with bad results.

出品方简介:

罗汉堂于2018年6月26日在杭州成立,是由阿里巴巴倡议,并由社会科学领域全球顶尖学者共同发起的开放型研究机构。罗汉堂首批学术委员会委员以经济学家为主,包括6位诺贝尔经济学奖得主。罗汉堂将携手更多的全球社会科学家和实践者,研究数字技术对经济和社会的影响,深刻理解并主动参与这一变革。罗汉堂的研究服务全社会,应对最重要的全球挑战,并着眼于人类社会的长期发展。

新经济思维研究所(INET)创建于金融危机之后的2009年,是一个非盈利研究机构,致力于研究和分享改善现有经济体系的新思想,从而创建一个更加繁荣公正的社会。

网易研究局(微信公号:wyyjj163) 出品

网易研究局是网易新闻打造的财经专业智库,整合网易财经原创多媒体矩阵,依托于上百位国内外顶尖经济学家的智慧成果,针对经济学热点话题,进行理性、客观的分析解读,打造有态度的前沿财经智库。欢迎来稿(投稿邮箱:cehuazu2016@163.com)。

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