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经济增长的未来

发自曼彻斯特——上个月,我在专栏中写到了经济理论与现实经济状况之间日益扩大的差异,并提醒读者说纵使经济学从业者或许拥有更大的野心,但这门学科仍然只是门社会科学。即便如此,在谈及长期推动经济增长的具体问题时,人们仍然可以通过专注于两股力量来实现严谨的预测。

具体而言,如果一个人知道某国的工作年龄人口将增长(或减少)多少,以及其生产力将增加多少,就可以相当自信地预测其未来的增长。第一个变量可以依据一个国家.的退休和死亡率来合理估算出来;第二个变量则比较不确定。事实上,自2008年以来各发达经济体所报告的生产率放缓状况被普遍视为一个经济上的不解之谜。

那这真的是个谜吗?请看下表,其中显示了自1980年代以来大型经济体,金砖四国(巴西,俄罗斯,印度和中国)以及其他人口最多的发展中国家“未来十一国”(N-11)的GDP增长。

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