超越时间的增长

发自剑桥——美国西北大学的罗伯特·戈登(Robert Gordon)是位杰出的经济学家,他在宏观经济学方面的成就以及对长期经济增长的研究为其赢得了高度评价。因此近期戈登在推测未来历史上的研究——关于美国的经济增长期是否已经结束了——引发了众多关注。但其论据的一个基本缺陷却是显而易见的——而且越是仔细观察这个缺陷就越明显。

戈登区分了自18世纪以来推动经济增长并提高生活水平的三次工业革命:第一次工业革命(“蒸汽、铁路”),其决定性的发明都在1750年到1830年之间产生;第二次工业革命(“电力、内燃机、自来水、室内厕所、通讯、娱乐、化工、石油”),其决定性发明在1870年到1900年间出现;第三次工业革命(“计算机、网络、手机”),发明的起始日期定为1960年。他的文章主要对比了第一次工业革命及第二次工业革命(尤其是后者对人均GDP和生活质量的影响)的变革性影响以及第三次工业革命相比之下较为细微的影响。

戈登论证的薄弱之处在于他缩短了第三次工业革命的时间范围。细想一下出现在其文章中的四句话:

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