A teacher observes his students BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

关于不平等和增长的正确问题

发自剑桥——认为不平等损害了经济增长的理念已经赢得了越来越多政策制定者的青睐。有些人执着地认定高度的不平等水平会使持续增长变得不可能,甚至可能导致经济衰退。这一观点与传统观点形成了鲜明对比,即平等与增长之间存在权衡,而更大的不平等是更高产出所必须付出的代价。

然而讨论中未能涉及的则是些状况是否与经济政策制定有着密切的关系。对此我的答案是否定的。社会科学家应该而且会继续关注不平等对于增长的正负面影响。但是那些引领一个经济体的人应该把重点放在评估结果和分配模式上,而不是关注一个永远无法彻底解决的难题。

三方面的发展体现出了这一重新调整的必要性。首先,尽管最近的研究表明较高水平的不平等会导致较低的长期增长,但其他数据却对这一假设进行了挑战,提出了不可能支持该假设的明确主张,部分原因是不同来源和类型的不平等可能会对增长产生不同的影响。

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