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The Year Ahead 2018

经济政策能够解决经济问题吗?

坎布里奇—去年发生了多次针对基于规则的全球秩序的攻击,其中一些险些成功。这些秩序是世界发达经济体的繁荣和许多新兴经济体的高速增长的基础。关于这些民粹主义攻击的根本原因在于经济还是文化,目前争论正酣。我怀疑答案是两者兼而有之,特别是因为文化解释提出了“为什么是现在”的问题,而经济解释则提供了现成的答案:收入增长大幅放缓。

更难的问题是对此怎么办。我们所面临的挑战是不满群体的经济愿望和我们能够灵活用来满足这些愿望的政策工具之间的脱节。在某些情形中,工具本身可能造成政治上的适得其反作用。

但我们必须尝试,因为关于生活满意度的调查揭示了一些令人不安的趋势。美国的综合调查(General Social Survey)显示,美国人的生活满意度在1990年达到顶峰,此后基本一路下降,虽然家庭收入有所上升(但升幅甚低)。其他主要经济体也出现了自我感受的福祉水平下降的趋势,包括意大利和法国,其中意大利的皮尤(Pew)生活满意度指标在2002年达到顶峰。

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