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渡过慢增长

华盛顿—如今,大部分经济学家都对世界经济的增长前景抱悲观态度。世界银行再次下调了中期预测,全球经济学家都在警告我们面临增长放慢的“新常态”。比较不一致(或者似乎比较不一致)的是对经济弱势的描述。

近三年前,前美国财政部长拉里·萨默斯(Larry Summers)复活了埃尔文·汉森(Alvin Hansen)的“长期停滞”假说,强调需求侧约束。相反,罗伯特·戈登(Robert Gordon)引人入胜的饱学之作《美国增长的兴衰》(The Rise and Fall of American Growth)将焦点集中在长期供给侧因素上,特别是创新的性质。托马斯·皮凯蒂(Thomas Piketty)在其畅销巨著《21世纪资本论》(Capital in the Twenty-First Century)中描述了因GDP低增长而导致的不平等性的加剧。约瑟夫·斯蒂格利茨(Joseph E. Stiglitz)的书《重写美国经济规则:增长和共同繁荣日程》(Re-Writing the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity)将增长放缓和不平等性加剧归咎于政治选择。

这些解释各有侧重,但并不矛盾。相反,萨默斯、戈登、皮凯蒂和斯蒂格利茨从不同角度解释了这个问题,他们的观点是互补的——甚至可以说是互相强化的。

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