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谁陷害了教授曼昆?  

2009-04-07 14:45:59|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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中文博主按:这当然是我的美女同事译的。作为一个畅销书作家,我最喜欢的事,就是取一个标题。不过,很有可能被我的学生说成是“标题党”。本来,我提的题目建议是:“谁造谣说我和布什在打架?”,她很不同意。她说:“就用原题好了。”哈,不过,我还是技痒。不过,这次,我想到的是一个动画片,好像是“谁陷害了兔子罗杰?”。哈,她的译文,当然是最好看的。题目嘛,也许就是个标题而已。


Mankiw vs Bush

An editorial in today's Washington Post uses my research with Matthew Weinzierl to challenge my formerboss:

今天的华盛顿邮报有一篇社论,用我跟MatthewWeinzierl合作的一篇研究,向我的前老板叫板:

PRESIDENT BUSH wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-edWednesday that "it is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robusteconomic growth and record revenues." The claim about fueling recordrevenue is flat wrong, and it is shocking that the president should persist inmaking such errors. After all, tax cuts are the central plank of his domesticpolicy. How can he fail to understand the basic facts about them?

布什总统在周三的华尔街日报上写了篇文章,题为“减税政策的又一个事实证据:推动经济的健康发展与创造破纪录的收入”。破纪录收入的这个说法,压根儿就是错的。令人惊奇的是,总统先生总是犯这种错。毕竟,减税是他在国内政策上的核心纲要。他怎么会不理解减税的一些基本事实呢?

 

This is notjust our opinion. Harvard's N. Gregory Mankiw, an economic conservative whoserved as chairman of Mr. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, has tested thehypothesis on which Mr. Bush's claim is based: He looked at the extent to whichtax cuts stimulate extra growth and the extent to which that growth generatesextra tax revenue that offsets the initial loss of revenue from the tax cut.Mr. Mankiw's conclusion: Even over the long term, once you've allowed all ofthe extra growth to feed through into extra revenue, cuts in capital taxesjuice the economy enough to recoup half of the lost revenue, and cuts in incometaxes deliver a boost that recoups 17 percent of the lost revenue. So a $100 billioncut in taxes on capital widens the budget deficit by $50 billion, and a $100billion cut in income taxes widens the budget deficit by $83 billion.

这不仅仅是我们的意见。哈佛的N. Gregory Mankiw,一个经济上的保守主义者,曾经司职于布什总统的经济咨询委员会主席。他检验了布什总统文章中的假设,不仅考察了减税对额外增长的刺激程度,同时也考察了增长导致的额外税收收入的程度,这种额外收入抵消了减税导致的原始收入的减少。Mankiw的结论是:即使在长期内,把全部的额外增长算进额外的收入中,资本税收减免促进的经济增长,最多能补偿一半的税收损失;所得税收减免促进的经济增长,最多能补偿17%的税收损失。也就是说,1000亿美元的资本税减免额,将增加500亿美元的预算赤字。而1000亿美元的收入税减免额,将增加830亿美元的预算赤字。

 

A few comments:

我的几点评论:

1. The editorial iswrong when it says we "tested the hypothesis." In fact, my paper withWeinzierl was data-free, and any scientific test requires data. What we did wasaddress the policy question by calibrating a standard intertemporal general equilibriummodel using parameter estimates drawn from the literature. In other words, ourpaper presented a model simulation, not an empirical test.

社论说我们检验了假设,这个说法是错误的。实际上,我和Weinzierl的文章里没有数据,而任何一种科学检验都需要数据。我们所做的仅仅是,通过使用以往文献中的估计参数,对一个标准的跨代一般均衡模型进行了调整,用来讨论政策问题。换句话说,我们的文章就是一个模型模拟,而不是一个实证检验。

2. The 17 percentfigure cited in the editorial is not for income taxes, but for labor incometaxes. Because income taxes are a combination of labor income taxes and capitalincome taxes, the right figure for income taxes would be between 17 percent and50 percent--I would guess about 25 percent.

社论引用的17%这个数据,不是所得税方面的,而是劳动所得税。所得税包含了劳动所得税和资本所得税。对于所得税的一个正确数据应该在17%到50%之间――我的估计是在25%左右。

3. The results citedare for our baseline model. The paper also presents a variety of alternativesimulations that lead to different conclusions. For example, if one believes inlarge social multipliers, then the elasticity of labor supply couldbe larger than we assumed, and the revenue feedback effects would be greater.Similarly, if one believes that capital investment generates significantpositive externalities (as suggested, for example, by the research of DeLong andSummers), then the revenue feedback effects would be much larger.Tax cuts could even be self-financing. I don't view that outcome as the mostlikely, however, mainly because I am not convinced of the evidence for suchpositive externalities. But I have enough respect for DeLong and Summers aseconomists that I would not completely rule out the possibility.

社论引用的结果是我们最保守的模型。这篇文章还用了其他的模拟从而得到不同的结论。比如,如果使用一个大的社会乘数,得到的劳动力供给弹性就会比我们假设的要大,收入的反馈作用就要大一些。类似地,如果认为资本投资具有更显著的正的外部性(如Delong Summers所建议的),收入的反馈作用就更大了。税收减免甚至可以是自我融资的。然而,我的看法跟大多数人并不一样,主要是因为我还没有被这种正的外部性说服。但是,我非常尊重DelongSummers两位经济学家,因而并不能完全排除这种可能性。

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