完美输家

伦敦——经济学理论似乎无法解释当前的经济危机。事实上,就连像前美联储主席阿兰·格林斯潘这样的人物最近都承认不久前发生的事件已经破坏了他整个的“思想体系”。

但在一片废墟上仍然可以找到有用的碎片。其中一片称之为“不对称信息”,意思是说某些人在某些事上知道得比其他人多。也许这种看法并没有什么出奇。但它可以适用于买卖双方之间的关系。假设产品的出售者比购买者更了解产品的品质,或者反之。那么就会出现一个有趣的问题——这个问题如此有趣,以致于它的发明者为此获得了诺贝尔经济学奖。

1970年,乔治·阿克洛夫发表了一篇题为“柠檬市场”的论文。文中他主要以二手车市场为例。买主并不知晓自己面对的是一辆好车还是一个“柠檬”。而他最贴近实际的推测是这辆车具有一般品质,因此他愿意支付平均价格。因为出售好车的车主拿不到好价,他就不会把好车放到市面上来。市场上出售的二手车平均质量也因此会出现下降。于是柠檬把柑橘挤出了市场。

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