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mankiw: 扩张与收缩:谁主沉浮(2)  

2009-07-13 13:58:36|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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二、高速增长率无论短期或长期都是有益的

The labor marketoften lags somewhat behind output in economic recoveries. But the disparity hasbeen larger in this recovery than in most. One reason is that laborproductivity has increased at a historic rate, with output per hour rising atan astonishing 3.8 percent annual rate from 2001 to 2003. This is more than apercentage point better than in the period of rapid growth in the late 1990s.In the short run, this productivity growth translates into weak employmentgrowth: by sheer arithmetic, higher productivity means that firms need fewerworkers for any given amount of output. In other words, we need even strongergrowth to see rising employment.

相比于经济复苏,劳动力市场常常会有点滞后。但是,这次复苏中的不一致性,比大部分的复苏,都要大一些。一个理由就是:劳动生产率的增速是一个历史速率,在2001年至2003年间,单位小时产出的年增长率是令人惊诧的3.8%。这个百分率,比之1990年代末期的高速增长阶段,还要高出一个百分点。在短期内,这样的生产率增速,就意味着就业率增速的减弱:大家简单算一下,就知道,较高的生产率,意味着在某一给定的产出水平上,企业对工人的需求量更小一些。换言之,要就业上升,就需要更加强劲的经济增长率。

But no one shouldlament rapid productivity growth. Over the long term, productivity growth isthe key determinant of growth in real incomes and living standards. Indeed, therelationship between productivity growth and real wages is one of the morerobust ones in economics. So make no mistake: positive news about productivityis good news for the American worker. Productivity growth is the macroeconomicreflection of the superior performance of the U.S. economy. Many nations wouldlove to have America’sso-called “problem” of high productivity growth.

但是,我们却不应对这样大的生产率增速心存遗憾,想着降一点下来才好。在长期内,生产率增长,才是真实收入的提高和生活水平的提高的关键性决定因素。实际上,经济学证明,生产率增长与真实工资之间具有更加稳健的关系。因此,我们要认识清楚:生产率方面的好消息,对于美国的工人来说,是一个积极的信号。生产率增长,是美国经济具有上佳表现的宏观经济反映。许多国家可希望像美国这样,也患上所谓的“高生产率”病了。

The long-runrelationship between productivity and real incomes is well-known. What issometimes overlooked, however, is that even in the short run, strongproductivity growth has been good for workers. We are now about 10 quartersafter the start of the recent recession. Real wages (as measured by realaverage hourly earnings) are up 2.9 percent from the start of 2001. Bycontrast, in a typical recession, after 10 quarters real wages have usually onlyjust recovered to their pre-recession levels.

生产率与真实收入之间,具有长期关系,这是人所共知的。然而,人们有时会忽视的是:即使在短期内,强劲的生产率增长,对于工人来说,也是有利的。从最近这次衰退开始算起,到现在已经有10个季度了。真实工资(用真实平均的小时收入来度量),自2001年初开始,已经上升了2.9%。相比而言,在一个典型的衰退中,在10个季度之后,真实工资通常只会恢复到衰退前的水平。

This strong real wagegrowth is easy to overlook because it is attributable in large part to lowinflation, rather than rapid nominal wage growth. The Fed gets much of thecredit for the current low inflation, but its job has been made easier bystrong productivity growth, which has been holding down growth in unit laborcosts.

真实工资如此强劲的增长,是常会被人们忽视的,因为这主要是源于较低的通胀率,而不是名义工资的高速上升。美联储对于当前的低通胀率是功不可没的,但是,由于强劲的生产率增长(这个原因,压低了单位劳动力成本),它的工作也变得更加容易开展了。

(待续)


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