2012年1月12日星期四

罗伯特·弗兰克关于环境外部性和位置商品

Romesh Vaitilingam在信息丰富采访罗伯特弗兰克在2011年12月23日录制的Voxeu网站上,录制了2011年12月23日。它处于播客形式,或者您更喜欢,有一名成绩单。我将首先提供一些摘要在弗兰克解释他的立场,然后提供一些观察和批评。这是弗兰克:

关于达尔文的博览会为什么竞争并不总是导致社会所需的结果

“我做了一个大胆的预测:100年后,像你我这样的人,当他们被要求填写一份确定现代经济学之父的调查时,会核对达尔文的名字. ...它最终将被视为一个包含了亚当·斯密的看不见的手理论的一个有趣的特例. ...比如麋鹿的鹿角。它们主要是为了帮助雄性成功地与其他雄性争夺配偶。达尔文发现,大多数脊椎动物的雄性如果可能的话,会选择不止一个配偶。这个限定符显然是很重要的一步,因为如果一些人成功了,那就意味着另一些人根本就不需要任何伴侣,这是达尔文理论中真正的输家。所以雄性当然会激烈地争夺雌性。鹿角是这种特殊物种的武器。在每种情况下,为较大基因编码的一些突变都受到了强烈的青睐。它们传播迅速,变异不断增加。 Now we get animals with antlers four feet across, weighing 40 pounds. That's too big for bulls as a group. Antlers don't grow forever, that's true. Natural selection puts a stop to the growth. There's an equilibrium, but it's not an optimum size when viewed from the perspective of bulls as a group. They'd much rather be half as big, because they're such an encumbrance when they're chased into a wooded area by wolves. They're easily surrounded and killed. If they could take a vote or put their hoof on a red button at the count of three, “all antlers shrink by half”, they'd have compelling reasons to do that. It's relative antler size that matters in battle, so it wouldn't affect the outcome of any fight. But they'd all be more mobile. They'd all be better able to escape from predation by wolves. From the perspective of the bulls themselves, that would be a good thing."

“环境外部性”

我认为更多的是出于“环境外部性”的考虑。我的车可以吗?我的房子可以吗?…它们不是社会稀缺,但人们对它们的评价非常依赖于环境。我的房子可以吗?当我还是和平队的志愿者时,我住在尼泊尔的一栋有两个房间的房子里。它没有任何管道。它没有电。下大雨时屋顶漏雨。 It was nonetheless a perfectly OK house in that context. If you lived in that house here in the UK, you'd be ashamed for your friends to know where you lived. Your kids wouldn't want their friends to know where they lived. It would be a house that was by no stretch of imagination conceivably evaluated as being OK. It's just an inadequate house by the current standards. If you look at context externalities, they're not here or there, they're everywhere. They're more intense in some domains than others. ...[O]ne of the main results of looking at the world this way is you get arms races always that focus on the categories where context matters more. And they suck resources out of the categories where context matters less. In the house and leisure example, people would work longer hours thinking they're going to get ahead by being able to buy a bigger house. ... It's that kind of arms race that leads to the misallocation. That's why the invisible hand doesn't steer things to the best uses. ... Now the US family, on average, spends $28,000 on a wedding. That's in 2009, the most recent figure I could find. In 1980 the inflation adjusted figure was $11,000. Nobody could pretend that the people getting married in 2009 were happier because of that extra spending. It was just that the people at the top spent more. That led the people just below them to spend more. There was a cascade."

政策含义?

“我几乎完全关注了这种分类的补救措施,这些补救措施试图使对他人造成伤害的行为,通过使它们更昂贵,通常通过征税。这并不禁止有人做任何事情,所以如果有人没有做任何事情继续做他在做的事情的一个非常重要的股份,但他可以付费。......税收的行为是我一次再次重复的咒语......主要是最大的补救措施是避免税收消费逐步率。“

一些反应
正如弗兰克所说,他看到他所谓的“上下文外部”到处都是。关于思考这些社会压力作为“外部性”的思考,这是因为税收反映外部性的社会成本的市场失败将改善社会福利。声称社会压力使我们大多数人消耗物品或做我们不做的事情当然是真实的,因为他们已经为每个社会到了时间的时间。但隐含地声称人们的“最佳”决定是他们所赋予的“最佳”决定,如果他们没有社会压力,因此社会压力必须让他们远离他们的最佳选择,似乎是贪婪的索赔“社会科学“像经济学一样。

毕竟,受社会压力影响的行为范围非常大:不仅仅是显眼的消费,还有许多社会群体中的许多其他决定:关于工作,与否;专注于完成某些程度的教育,或者不是;服用某些药物,或不是;在某个教堂里崇拜,或者不是;成为年轻时的父母,或者不是;还有许多人。在所有这些情况下,地方和社会压力可能会使人们从他们所做的事情改变他们的行为。但似乎普遍广泛宣传所有“上下文外部性”,可能会成熟到政策干预。

经济学家通常采取的替代职位是人们被视为具有自主性和个性,以在神秘且主要是未审查的背景下形成自己的偏好 - 但是包括社会压力的背景 - 然后经济学家研究基于这些品种和偏好的需求与基于技术和生产在市场上的供应互动。如果有些人更加努力,因为他们想要超越邻居,那通常不会被认为是“市场失败”。如果某个社会群体决定过高度简单的生活,他们尽可能少地将其消耗剥离,这是社会压力的形式不被视为“市场失败”。


我喜欢弗兰克强调的渐进消费税的想法,但不是因为关于“上文外部性”的任何论点。重点是进步效力 - 即高收入的人支付更大份额的税收收入 - 是追求社会公平的目标。(实际上,在我看来,弗兰克的“上下文外部性”是最能理解的,作为一种方式,说明收入高收入的额度很低,因此与高收入的税率如此较高的税率是合理的。) The emphasis on consumption, rather than income, is because the U.S. economy would benefit from a higher rate of saving, and a consumption tax falls only on what is consumed, not on what is saved.