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回潮的外包  

2008-02-08 06:37:14|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Outsourcing Redux
 
回潮的外包
 
(注:“外包”是一个企业词汇、特指将组织功能转移给第三方的一种组织实践)
由阳光下的Yoyo翻译

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/05/outsourcing-redux.html

About two years ago, while I was chairman ofthe Council of Economic Advisers, I had my 15 minutes of fame overthe topic of offshore outsourcing. (I tell the story in a recentpaper with my former chief of staff Phillip Swagel.) At the time, Idrafted an op-ed on the topic. The article was never submitted, butit has been sitting on my hard drive ever since, where I recentlyran across it. I thought the readers of this blog--an elitegroup--might enjoy it.
大约2年前,当我还是经济顾问理事会的主席时,我曾经发表过15分钟关于离岸外包(离岸外包”是指将一个组织功能转移到另一个国家,不管这个工作是否回在组织内部还是在组织外部)的演讲。(在最近的报纸上,我和我的前部长PhillipSwagel(美国财政部负责经济政策的助理部长)谈论起这个故事)。在那个时候,我草拟了一份关于这个话题的社论。这篇文章从没有提交上去过,但是它从那时起就一直保存在我的硬盘里,我最近又发现它了。我想这个博客的读者——一群精英分子——可能会对它感兴趣。

Adam Smith on Outsourcing
By N. Gregory Mankiw
March 25, 2004
亚当·史密斯与外包
N.格里高利曼昆著
2004年3月25日

If the American Economic Association were to give an award for theMost Politically Inept Paraphrasing of Adam Smith, I would be aleading candidate. But the recent furor about outsourcing, and myinjudiciously worded comments about the benefits of internationaltrade, should not eclipse the basic lessons that economists haveunderstood for more than two centuries.
如果美国经济学会可能给亚当·斯密颁发一个“政治上最不恰当解释”的评价的话,我一定是个领头的支持者。不过人们最近对外包的激情和我对国际贸易利益的浅薄评论,都无法超越两个世纪前经济学家已经理解的基本知识。

To avoid making the same mistake twice and clinching the award, Ishould let Mr. Smith speak for himself. Here is what he said in his1776 classic The Wealth of Nations: “It is maxim of every prudentmaster of a family never to attempt to make at home what it willcost him more to make than to buy...What is prudence in the conductof every private family can scarce be folly in that of a greatkingdom. If a foreign country can supply us with a commoditycheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them withsome part of the produce of our own industry employed in a way inwhich we have some advantage.”
为了防止再犯同样的错误和做出错误的评价,我应该让斯密先生为他自己辩解。他在1776年的经典著作《国富论》里写道:“如果一件东西在购买时所费的代价比在家内生产时所费的小,就永远不会想要在家内生产,这是每一个精明的家长都知道的格言。…在每一个私人家庭的行为中是精明的事情,在一个大国的行为中就很少是荒唐的了。如果外国能以比我们自己制造还便宜的商品供应我们,我们最好就用我们有利地使用自己的产业生产出来的物品的一部分向他们购买。”

This is the basic theory of international trade.
这是国际贸易的基本理论。

Since Smith penned these words, economists have added rigor to theanalysis (thank you, David Ricardo) and have conducted numerousempirical and historical studies of the effects of trade. Theverdict is in: Smith was right. Few propositions command as muchconsensus among professional economists as that open world tradeincreases economic growth and raises living standards. Smith’sinsights are now standard fare in Econ 101.
自从斯密写下了这些话,经济学家又加入了严密的论证(感谢DavidRicardo,注:大卫·李嘉图,被认为是最有影响力的古典经济学家,比较优势理论是其经典理论)和引入了非常多的关于贸易影响的经验性的和历史性的研究。结论是:斯密是对的。很少有理论象“开放的世界性贸易会促进经济增长和提高生活标准”这样受到如此多的经济学家一致同意的。斯密的远见卓识可以与现在ECON101(Econ指经济;101指美国大学各学科的入门导论,intro类课程选课编号常常是101)的权威相媲美。

Yet, whenever the economy goes through a difficult time, as it hasin recent years, free trade comes under fire. Some people now fearthat trade is responsible for recent weakness in U.S. labormarkets. The concern is understandable, but it is simply not true.Over the past three years, job losses are more closely related todeclines in domestic investment and weak exports than toimport-competition. To the extent that the rest of the worldthreatens U.S. prosperity, the main problem is not rapid growth inChina and India, but slow growth in Japan and Europe.
然而,不论何时经济度过一个困难时期,就象近年来,自由贸易都会受到攻击。现在一些人担心贸易应该为美国劳动力市场近来的走软负一定责任。这种担忧是可以理解的,但是这显然是不正确的。在过去的三年来,失业更主要的归因于国内投资的危机和相对于进口竞争来说低出口量。在世界其他国家威胁美国繁荣的风口浪尖上,主要问题不在于中国和印度的高速经济增长,而是日本和欧洲的缓慢经济增长。

Of course, global competition has caused employment declines insome industries.The world trading system is changing along withtechnology. Goods that could once be produced only domestically cannow be produced abroad and imported over fiber optic cable. TheInternet and advances in telecommunications have meant that moreAmericans are competing with workers in other nations. Even if morecompetition is good for consumers, it can produce veryunderstandable anxiety among some workers and theirfamilies.
当然,全球化竞争在一些工业领域引起雇佣危机。世界贸易系统随着技术的发展不断变化。一些原来只可以以家庭式生产的商品现在也可以在外国生产和通过光缆输入。互连网和通讯手段的进步意味着更多的美国人正在和其他国家的工人竞争。即使更多的竞争有利于消费者,它也会在一些工人和他们的家庭里产生非常可以理解的焦虑。

These technological changes, however, have not rendered Smith’sinsights obsolete. The same principles apply to offshoreoutsourcing of services as to traditional trade in goods. This hasbeen confirmed in a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute.McKinsey researchers tallied up the costs and benefits associatedwith outsourcing and found that for every dollar the United Statessends abroad, we get back about $1.12, resulting in a net gain of$0.12. Smith would not have been surprised.
然而这些技术不断变化,并没有让史密斯当年的理论过时。同样的原理不但适用于传统的商品交易,也适用于离岸外包。这点被麦肯锡全球学会最近的一项研究证实。麦肯锡全球学会的研究员结算了与外包有关的成本和利润,发现了美国每向外国输出一美元,我们将会得到约1.12美元的回报,实现了0.12美元的毛利。史密斯一定不会对此感到吃惊。

Some people fear that Americans cannot compete with low-wageworkers abroad, or that global competition will mean that wageswill “race to the bottom.” The truth is that we can prosper in aglobal economy because our workers are among the best in the world.Our real wages are ultimately determined by our productivity, andAmerican productivity growth has been spectacular over the pastthree years.
一些担心美国人无法与低工资的外国工人竞争,或者全球竞争意味着工资会“越竞争越低直到谷底”。事实上是我们可以在世界经济中成功,是因为我们的工人在全球最好工人的行列中。我们实际工资最终由我们的生产力来决定,美国的生产力增长在过去三年中是惊人的。

So, if trade is not the problem ailing the U.S. economy, what is?Smith again has the answer. “Little else is requisite to carry astate to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarismbut peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice:all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things."This fits perfectly with three of the President’s priorities:defending the homeland against terrorist threats, reducing the taxburden on the American people, and reforming the tort system. (IfSmith overlooked the importance of ensuring a reliable energysupply and reducing the cost of health care, we can forgive hiseighteenth-century myopia.)
如果贸易不是美国经济境况不佳的原因,什么才是呢?斯密再次回答了这个问题。“少量的额外简单税收和可行的司法管理,是把一个国家从低级的原始状态提生到一个较高的繁荣水平所必须的:所有它所致使的结果都是通过一个事物的自然发展过程。”这完全符合总统的三个优先权:保卫国家对抗外来袭击,降低美国人的税收负担和重整司法系统。(如果斯密忽视了保证一个可靠的能源供应和降低健康保健成本的重要性,我们可以原谅他18世纪的“近视“)

The President, like Smith, believes in the free enterprise system.The goal of policy should be to open up markets, not to retreatbehind walls or throw rocks in our harbors. Economic growth is notzero-sum. Prosperity in one country is not a threat to prosperityin another. Free and open markets can mean better jobs both forAmericans and for our trading partners around theworld.
总统,和斯密一样,相信自由的企业制度。政策的目标应该是开放市场,不是撤退到礁石之后后或者向我们的海港里扔石头。经济增长不是零和。一个国家的繁荣不是对另一个国家繁荣的威胁。自由和开放的市场对美国人和我们全球贸易伙伴来说都是更好的事情。

It may be a mere coincidence that Smith’s great book was publishedthe exact same year that the Declaration of Independence wassigned. But the founding fathers of the United States share anintellectual bond with the founding father of economics. They bothbelieved that liberty and prosperity go hand in hand. Our foundingfathers were well aware of Smith’s work. Benjamin Franklin knewSmith personally. When Franklin quipped that “No nation was everruined by trade,” he likely meant it as anunderstatement.
斯密著作的发表和《独立宣言》的签署在同一年可能是个纯粹的巧合。但是美国之父和经济之父分享了他们的智慧结晶。他们都相信自由和繁荣是统一的。美国之父清楚地了解史密斯的作品。本杰明·富兰克林和史密斯私交甚好。当富兰克林讽刺“没有国家曾经被贸易所毁灭”的时候,他很可能认为这是一个借口(掩饰)。(注:本杰明·富兰克林他是美国革命时重要的领导人之一,参与了多项重要文件的草拟)

Perhaps quoting Adam Smith is risky. Smith was British, so somepeople may accuse me of outsourcing economic advice. But importcompetition is not a threat. I have great confidence that PresidentBush’s policies will grow the economy and create a job for everyAmerican who wants one, including his politically tone-deafeconomist.

可能引证亚当·斯密是危险的。斯密是英国人,所以一些人可能指责我对于外包加工的建议。但是进口竞争不是一种威胁。我对布什总统的政策有充分的信心,相信它们会使经济发展和为并让所有想工作的美国人都有一份职业,包括他的政治上失聪的经济学家。
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