演化中的中国合约网络

发自香港——经济学家阿克塞尔·莱琼霍夫德(Axel Leijonhufvud)在近期的一篇文章中将市场体系定义为一个合约网络。由于合约之间彼此关联,一份合同的违约可能影响一系列承诺的兑现,如雪崩一般不断扩大,进而“破坏市场体系正常运转所需要的整个正式与非正式合约的网络系统”。国家的作用正是保护、强制执行并规范这些合约以及相关的财产权利,并适时干预以防系统性失灵。

主流经济学家往往将合约网络系统视作理所当然的,以至于几乎对其视而不见。合约网络界定了市场体系内的正式与非正式规则,同时塑造并约束了个人及社会行为。因此,可以说合约网络是构造人类所有制度的基础材料。

发达经济体有着非常复杂的合约网络,例如金融衍生产品。莱琼霍夫德指出,应对当前的欧洲危机需要关注三重问题的相互叠加:“杠杆率”、“期限错配”与“网络拓扑”,也就是“其联通性与关键节点的存在导致其“太大而不能倒”。这是因为“合约网络已经出现了严重失调”。坚持履行所有合约,将会“引发绝大部分合约网络的崩溃”以及“严重的经济灾难以及无法估量的社会与政治后果。”

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