饿不死的巨兽

发自剑桥——整个世界都在看着美国为其财政前景努力挣扎,而这场斗争的形态也反映了很可能在未来几十年内以各种形式在世界各地上演的,更为宏大的社会与哲学分歧。当前已经有许多关于如何减少政府开支的议论,但其中只有很少能将焦点放在如何使政府支出变得更有效上。虽然没有更具创造性的方法来提供政府服务,但其成本依然将随时间不断攀升。

所有服务密集型产业都面对着同样的挑战。早在20世纪60年代,经济学家威廉·鲍莫尔(William Baumol)和威廉·鲍恩(William Bowen)就撰文讨论过困扰这些行业的“成本弊病”。他们使用的最著名例子是莫扎特的弦乐四重奏,这种四重奏今时今日和19世纪一样要求同样数量的音乐家和乐器。同样地,对老师来说现在给一篇论文打分所花的时间跟100年前所花的时间是一样的。好的水管工雇佣成本很高,因为在这方面技术也发展得很慢。

为什么缓慢的生产率增长转化成了高成本呢?关键在于服务业最终得和高速生产率增长的金融业、制造业和信息技术行业在同一个国家的劳动力市场里争夺劳动力。尽管这些市场的劳动力可能会被分割成不的领域,但是中间依然有足够的重叠迫使服务密集型行业不得不支付更高的工资来雇佣员工——至少从长远来看是如此。

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/Axb4UHB/zh;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.