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伊拉克战争: 当不可解兄遇到不可知弟!  

2009-04-03 20:55:03|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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冷雪天按:关于"伊拉克战争与经济利益"的问题,要我拙说,此战争真正的获利者是那些真正的经济大亨(共和党的石油大家),而美国社会与民众并没有获得多少真正的经济利益.同意Krueger的幅标题,精准.抓住问题的实质.
关于那些经济学家的论调的确不感多言.胡言乱语.请见谅

TheEconomics of the IraqWar

Caneconomics shed light on whether the Iraq War was a good policy decision?Economists tend to think that economics can shed light on almost all policydecisions. After all, aren't almost all policy decisions about comparing costsand benefits? And isn't that what economics is all about?

伊拉克战争,是一个好的政策决定吗?经济学家能阐明这个问题吗?说到经济学家们,他们可是一直认为Tend to think: 应是“倾向于认为” )“几乎所有的政策决定,经济学都是可以搞定的Shed (throw, cast) light on something: 对某物投以光, 阐释某物)”呢!毕竟,几乎所有的政策决定,难道不都在比较成本与收益吗?而且,经济学不就是讨论这个东西的吗?



Several economists have taken this perspective and written about the Iraq War.In today's NY Times, Princeton economist AlanKrueger provides a summary.Here is an excerpt:

有几个经济学家就是持这种看法,而且,还写了文章来讨论“伊战”呢。在今天的纽约时报上,普林斯顿的经济学家Alan Krueger弄了个综述。节录如下:



"TheChicago economists [Steven J. Davis, Kevin M.Murphy and Robert H. Topel] argue that anticipated improvements in Iraq's livingstandard, once the country stabilizes, tip the balance in favor of invasionover containment, which in their view had costs that were "in the sameballpark." They also argue that the number of Iraqi fatalities since theinvasion is probably no greater than would have been the case under Mr.Hussein.
“芝加哥大学的经济学家[Steven J.Davis, Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel]认为:一旦伊拉克稳定了,它的生活水平,就会提高,这是‘侵略优于封锁’(Tip the balance in favor of A over B. 是平衡偏移, 有利于A, 不利于B。 )的重要原因,在他们看来,这里的成本是‘同样合理’(in the same ballpark)In the same ballpark: (费用、成本、价格等)在相互差不多的范围里。一般而言, 有same一定有as对应。 这里省了as, 但是从上下文看, as 指的是invasion. 亦即, 遏制的成本与入侵相比不分轩轾。的。他们还认为,入侵后的死亡数量,可能也不会超过萨达姆的时候

Eugene点评:

The number of Iraqi fatalities since the invasion is probably nogreater than would have been the case under Mr. Hussein.这里比较的是伊拉克人民在两种情形里的死亡数。 一是现实的入侵。 另一是一种虚拟情形, 也就是, 如果没有入侵, 萨达姆还在统治。原译作“萨达姆的时候”会给人误解是入侵前萨达姆统治的时候。 注意萨达姆实际统治的时候与虚拟的万一没入侵萨达姆还在统治的时候是两个不同的时候。
其次, 我也试译一下。
一旦伊拉克稳定了,该国的的生活水平有望(anticipated)提高,这就使入侵与遏制孰优孰劣的比较偏向赞同入侵。而且,在他们看来,遏制的成本与入侵相比不分轩轾。他们还认为,入侵后伊拉克人民的死亡数,或许也不会超过如果不入侵萨达姆还在统治而致死的人数


"Buteven if one accepts all of their estimates, their results implicitly raiseanother question: Why intervene in Iraq and not a country like Sudan, wheregenocide and oppression are at least as much an affront as they were in Iraq,and where the cost of intervention and prospects for improving lives may offera better benefit-to-cost ratio than is likely in Iraq?"

“但是,就算人们全盘接受他们的假设,他们的结果还隐含着另一个问题:为什么要去干预伊拉克,而不去搞苏丹?要知道,在苏丹,种族灭绝(genocide)和压迫,最少跟伊拉克也是一样的令人发指,而且,干预成本和生活改进的前景,相比于伊拉克来说,可能还会有更高的收益-成本比呢!“

If you want to pursue this topic further, note that Chicago economist GaryBecker has recently written about the Iraq war on his blog here,as has his legal scholar co-blogger Richard Posner here.

如果你想更深入地研究这个问题,注意芝加哥大学经济学家Gary Becker最近在博客上写的关于伊战的文章,还有他的博客合作者RichardPosner的文章(Legal scholar未译出。 这是“法律学者”的意思。)。


If you really want to pursue this topic further, you can delveinto the longer, more comprehensive studies. One of the first from 2002 was byYale economist William Nordhaus, which you can find here. The Chicago study by Davis,Murphy, and Topel, updated in February 2006, can be found here.
如果你真的想进一步地研究这个问题,那么,就可以看那些篇幅更长、更加合面的研究。第一篇就是耶鲁经济学家WilliamNordhaus(2002)的;第二篇就是芝加哥的Davis等三人(2006)的研究。One of the first from 2002: 从2002年算起最早的研究文章之一。 译成第一篇言过了。 显然, 第二篇也不对了。 芝加哥Davis 等三人的研究文章, 2006年二月更新修改过, 也收录在此。


A study by Linda Bilmes of Harvard and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia can be found here.The Bilmes-Stiglitz study got a lot of media attention, such as thisarticle, because it estimated the cost of the war could exceed $2 trillion.Krueger and Becker both discuss this study, often critically. Here is whatKrueger says about the Bilmes-Stiglitz estimate:

LindaBilmesJosephStiglitz的研究在这里。这二位的研究,受到了媒体的广泛关注(如这里的一篇文章),因为他们估计战争成本会超过2万亿美元。Krueger Becker两位,都讨论了他们的这个研究,不过常常语含批评。下面是Krueger对那个研究的评价下面是Krueger对那个研究成本估计的评价):

"Thisis arguably too high for several reasons. First, it counts future interestpayments on the debt created by military spending as well as the directexpenditures. (This is analogous to counting both the sale price of a house andthe cost of future mortgage payments as the cost of buying the house.) Second,it counts elevated military recruitment costs that incorporate a premium forhigher risk of death or injury because of the war as well as the predicteddirect cost of the deaths and injuries; this is double counting if the riskpremium is adequate. Finally, it ascribes a big increase in the price of oil tothe war, and, as a result, a loss to the American economy of almost half atrillion dollars."


可以证明,这个数值是太高了,理由如下:首先,它算进了因军费支出而增加的债务的未来利息支付,还算进了直接费用(这就相当于:既算了房屋的出售价格和未来的贷款支付,同时还算进了购买房屋的成本)。第二,它算进了提高了的新兵招募成本,这个成本包括因战争而产生的提高了的”伤亡风险溢价“,同时,还算进了预测的伤亡直接成本;这样,如果”风险溢价“足够大,那就是重复计算了。最后,它将油价的巨幅提高,归因于战争,结果就是:这也造成了美国经济损失了差不多五千亿美元。”(最后,它将油价的巨幅提高,归因于战争,因此, 它也将美国经济损失了差不多五千亿美元。 归因于战争。

Eugene点评

This is arguably too high for several reasons. 可以证明,这个数值是太高了,理由如下。
怎没翻译arguably? Arguably 是一个插入语。 表示“有争议地”,“还有争辩的余地”, “未到盖棺论定的时候”。一般用于个人的结论太强烈, 但不述不快。 述后又想留些余地, 以示谦虚。 这里的意思是:这个数值, 因以下几个理由, 估得太高了,不过是不是太高, 还有争议。 再如:Gu Cheng is arguably the best Chinese contemporarypoet. 顾城是当代最佳的中国诗人, 不过是不是最佳,还有争议。 (能不能译作:顾城是当代有争议的最佳的中国诗人?)


Eugene点评:

Ascribe A TO B :将A归因于B。
Ascribe (A to B) TO C:将(A to B)归因于C。
, asa result, a loss to the American economy of almost half a trilliondollars. = as a result, it ascribes a loss to the American economy ofalmost half a trillion dollars to the war.
最后,它将油价的巨幅提高,归因于战争,因此, 它也将美国经济损失了差不多五千亿美元。 归因于战争。”


In theend, are we any closer to answering the question of whether the Iraq War was agood policy decision? In my view, one cannot help but agree that the subtitleof the Krueger article captures the essence of the problem: Imponderables MeetUncertainties.

那么,如果要回答“伊战是否是一个好的政策决定”这个问题,我们的答案究竟还有多远?Are we any closer to answering? 弄了半天, 我们有没有离回答问题更近了一点?)在我看来,我们只能同意Krueger文章的副标题,它抓住了问题的本质,那就是:“‘不可解兄’(Imponderable: 无法正确估计, 回应上文的高估,重复估计的问题。)啊,遇上了‘不确定’弟”(Uncertainty: 不确定性, 何时伊拉克会稳定?稳定后生活会提高多少?如果不入侵, 萨达姆会杀多少人?这通通是不确定的问题。)!


Eugene点评:

In the end, are we any closer to answering the question of whether theIraq War was a good policy decision? In my view, one cannot help butagree that the subtitle of the Krueger article captures the essence ofthe problem: Imponderables MeetUncertainties.那么,如果要回答“伊战是否是一个好的政策决定”这个问题,我们的答案究竟还有多远?在我看来,我们只能同意Krueger文章的副标题,它抓住了问题的本质,那就是:“‘不可解兄’啊,遇上了‘不确定’弟”!
Are we any closer to answering? 弄了半天, 我们有没有离回答问题更近了一点?
Imponderable: 无法正确估计, 回应上文的高估,重复估计的问题。
Uncertainty: 不确定性, 何时伊拉克会稳定?稳定后生活会提高多少?如果不入侵, 萨达姆会杀多少人?这通通是不确定的问题。
试译一下: 到头来, 距离回答“伊战是不是一个好决策”这个问题, 我们有没有更靠拢一步?在我看来,我们只好同意Krueger文章的副标题才是真正抓住了这个问题的本质,那就是:“‘不可估兄’啊,遇上了‘不确定’弟”



伊拉克战争: 当不可解兄遇到不可知弟! - 曼昆 - N·格里高利·曼昆的博客

 

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