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英国的进口替代问题

发自伦敦——英国脱欧公投所带来的最显著经济效应莫过于英镑的崩溃。自6月以来,英镑相对一篮子货币的汇率下跌了16%。对此英格兰银行前行长梅尔文·金(Mervyn King)表示较低的汇率是个“受欢迎的变化”。事实上由于英国当前的经常项目赤字与GDP的比率超过了7%——也是自1955年开始统计该数据以来的最高值——贬值似乎是好事。但真相果真如此吗?

通常来说,经济学家会将货币贬值视为平衡一个国家外部账户的有效手段,因为这会提高进口成本而拉低出口成本,进而令前者下降而后者上升。较高的进口价格——相当于该国的净损失——将被该国出口竞争力更强的就业和工资所抵消。

但为了使货币贬值发挥作用,当汇率下降时就立刻得涌现出更多的出口需求(或者用经济学术语说,出口需求的价格弹性必须较高)。但多项研究表明,英国出口需求的价格弹性较低。例如最近由智库机构欧洲贸易研究组(European Trade Study Group)研究员法兰切斯科·埃罗(Francesco Aiello),格兹埃拉·布南诺(Graziella Bonanno)和阿列西亚·维阿(Alessia Via)共同发表的一篇论文就显示“长期出口水平似乎与英国的实际汇率无关”。

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