经济进步的未来

华盛顿—关于经济增长的性质的争论进入了新阶段,这一变化虽然缓慢,但无可置疑。信服显得问题与近几十年来的争论问题大相径庭,我们可以从中感受到决定未来经济进步(以及经济政策)讨论的概念框架的变化。

第一个问题是关于未来经济增长潜在速度的,这一问题造成了经济学家之间的严重分歧。比如,西北大学的罗伯特·戈登(Robert Gordon)认为,从中期看,美国经济年人均增长达到0.5%就要谢天谢地了。另一些人——其中最认真的大概是丹尼·罗德里克(Dani Rodrik),对新兴经济体深感悲观。许多大牌分析家的共同假设是技术进步将会减速,包括与新兴和发展中国家关系最密切的赶超收益。

另一边是“新科技派”,他们认为我们正站在第四次工业革命的门口,这次工业革命的特征是真正的“智能机器”,它们将成为中低技能劳动力的近乎完美的替代品。这些“机器人”(其中一些以软件的面目出现)也可称为“物联网”(Internet of things),拜3D打印所赐,它们将在能源效率、交通(如自动驾驶汽车)、医疗和个性化大生产等领域极大地提高生产率。

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