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复旦大学经济学院金融学教授

复旦大学经济学院金融学教授,中国世界经济学会常务理事、复旦大学经济学院副院长、复旦大学中国经济国际竞争力创新基地常务副主任,复旦大学世界经济研究所副所长,《经济研究》匿名审稿人,比利时鲁汶大学应用经济系博士学位评审组成员、日本一桥大学国际共同研究中心兼职研究员.

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这也是缘分——诺奖终于给了克鲁格曼  

2008-10-13 22:32:47|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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危机年代的获奖更容易让我们记住克鲁格曼

复旦大学经济学院副院长、金融学教授 孙立坚

   98年东亚危机很多人想到了克鲁格曼,认为当年诺奖有可能归属于他,尤其他对“东亚奇迹”的增长模式曾提出过“难能可贵”的质疑。很多人在评选前都认为他预见了97年的东亚危机,但他说没有。果真,后来诺奖没有他。以后几年,诺奖的候选人多起来了,人们没有再把他放在重要的后选人行列中,尤其当他担任了纽约时报的专栏作家以后,很多人甚至认为他从此离开了诺奖的候选人的名单之列。
    我的经济学是在日本从国际贸易学习开始的,后来很快转到了国际金融领域,但90年代克鲁格曼对新贸易理论独到的架构和后期在空间经济学理论的拓展,常常在学校的学术报告会上听到。我记得,当初人们对他的学术评价是:洞察问题的意识敏锐,逻辑明晰,但模型的致密性上,留下了很多发展的余地,这也让很多年轻人能顺着它的思路,作出了更为致密的高质量的研究,后来的一些成果极大丰富了克鲁格曼新贸易理论的学术价值体系。在国际金融理论方面,他的贡献也同样反映了他对问题本质的洞察力上,这可以从他的第一代货币危机的内在机制描述上就能够清晰地感觉到。这也是我情不自禁想借此机会重温过去学生时代对他敬仰的那种令人难忘的感觉。
    虽然,今天我们正处在又一次全球金融危机的漩涡中,此时,他独自一人的获奖即在情理之中,但还是让人感到有点在情理之外:情理之中是他在开放经济学领域上独到和广泛的贡献,获得诺奖一点不为过,但情理之外是学术贡献中并没有提到他对货币危机理论的贡献,尤其在当今全球危机的特征需要经济学家继续去解释它的内在规律的时候,没有对此评价,有点让人感到少了点什么。这也可能就是诺奖评价的学术标准和大众心理的不同之处。而且,这也许是诺奖“神秘”和“严肃”性的具体表现。
    事实上,关于货币危机的理论曾经产生了三次变化,并且很好的解释了包括92年欧洲货币联盟的危机和94年墨西哥危机以及97年东亚危机在内的历史上发生过的数次危机。不管怎样,是克鲁格曼,首先揭开了货币危机的面纱——人们称之为第1代货币危机理论(Krugman, 1979; Flood and Garber,1984)。它揭示了和固定汇率制不配套的政府的财政扩张政策,不断消磨了中央银行的外汇储备,最终必然导致固定汇率制崩溃这样一个原理。这个理论的最大贡献在于指出了危机的发生,完全来自于投资者按照自己理性预期而做出的行为。与这个理论相对应的第2代货币危机模型(Obstfeld,1994)却强调了危机的出现是投资者预期的变化迫使经济走到了一个坏的均衡点这样一个原理。因为它不是由宏观经济基础条件的恶化所引起的,所以危机的爆发是突然的,无法预料的。第3代货币危机模型(Chang,1998;Edwards,1998),关注到了金融脆弱性和货币危机发生的内在联系,如国际资本的挤兑行为等,就可能使一个国家的银行危机转变为货币危机,甚至能够解释为什么一国的货币金融危机会传染到本来不会发生危机的另一个国家,从而最终形成地域层面上的货币危机。克鲁格曼,在每一次的危机理论发展过程中,都撰文拓展自己第一代货币理论的思想去解释当时所出现的新的变化;他认为,只要引进“道德风险机制”,“未来预期的形成机制”,自己的第一代理论能够演变成第二代和第三代危机模型。尤其是对日本泡沫经济崩溃(金融危机)现象,他第一个所作出的“流动性陷阱”的剖析,让我留下了深刻的印象,为他坚持学术思想的连贯性而感到钦佩不已。尽管他个人后来对自己前期理论的“捍卫”没有像新贸易理论那样,在学界引起广泛的共鸣,从而产生很多的追随弟子,反而,人们在与他的“传统”危机理论的比较中,更喜欢接受其他新的视角和新的方法。可是,他自己还坚持认为自己的理论能经得起不同时代数据样本的考验。我想,这也是诺奖经济学家所应具备的那种内在的、对真理追求的执著性。甚至,可以坚信,人们在研究今天全球金融危机的问题时,一定会想到第一个吃螃蟹的人。这也是我为什么对这次没有提到克鲁格曼的货币危机理论贡献而感到的一点点遗憾的原因。
    还有,克鲁格曼现在作为纽约时报专栏作家经常出现在媒体上的行为,常常会遭到“严肃型”经济学者们的质疑,甚至批判。但他却得到了大众的认可,甚至一部分“严肃型”学者后来也为他能够清晰、明快和直率的评价当今执政者经济运作问题所表现出来的“才能”而感到钦佩。这也为我们当今学界中如何看待学者的社会责任心和保持学术严肃性之间的关系,提供了一个非常难能可贵的分析案例。也许人们会说,这一案例没有“代表性”——因为他是“克鲁格曼”,才能够以“大众经济学家”的形象而接受诺贝尔经济学奖的殊荣!



[附英文资料:让我们进一步了解大众经济学家——克鲁格曼]

Comparativeadvantage: how economist Paul Krugman became the most important politicalcolumnist in America

 

Washington Monthly,  Dec, 2002  by Nicholas Confessore

 

There have always been columnists who, forbetter or worse, commanded the greatest attention of their day. Think of WalterLippmann during the postwar consensus, Joseph Kraft during the Vietnam era, orGeorge Will during the Reagan years. William Satire heralded the Clinton backlash of theearly 1990s, Maureen Dowd the frothy, decadent latter half of the decade. Inmuch the same way, Paul Krugman, who has written a column twice-weekly for TheNew York Times since January 2000, is essential reading for the Age of Bush. Ifyou work in Washington,you probably read Krugman's column, and if you read Krugman's column, youprobably have strong feelings about Krugman himself. Mention his name at a Washington dinner party,and at least a few people are bound to rave--or curse.

 

It's not immediately clear why. Krugman isa pretty good writer, but not a great one. He's adept at explicating numbersand statistics in clear English, but he's not a stylist like Dowd or the TheWashington Post's Michael Kelly. Krugman isn't well-connected in Washington; in fact, he almost never leaves the environsof Princeton University, where he has taughteconomics since 2000. He's not a connoisseur of politics. He can't tell you howmany votes John F. Kennedy won Illinoisby in 1960 or who Arthur Finkelstein is. Nor is Krugman much of a reporter.There are few facts in his columns that any Times intern couldn't glean fromdocuments published daily by the Congressional Budget Office or dozens ofBeltway think tanks. Krugman doesn't travel around the country interviewinglieutenant governors or lard his columns with juicy blind quotes. He doesn'tplot Democratic strategy like E.J. Dionne, dine with foreign dignitaries likeThomas Friedman, or write smart big-think like Ronald Brownstein. Nevertheless,for nearly two years, Krugman has been the columnist every Democrat in the countryfeels they need to read--and every Bush Republican loves to hate.

 

Krugman's primacy is based largely on hisdominance of a particular intellectual niche. As major columnists go, he isalmost alone in analyzing the most important story in politics in recentyears--the seamless melding of corporate, class, and political party interestsat which the Bush administration excels. Like most people, the Washington press, andespecially pundits, were slow to grasp the magnitude of the shift. Krugman,whether puncturing the fuzzy math of Bush's tax cut or eviscerating thedeceptive accounting behind Bush's Social Security plans or highlighting thecorruption behind Dick Cheney's energy task force, has nearly always been thefirst mainstream writer to describe--and condemn--Bushonomics in plain English.

 

As an economist, of course, Krugman surelyhas an edge over most liberal pundits; his sterling academic reputation giveshis critiques a punch that few Democratic politicians or liberal editorialistscould hope for. But in truth, little that Krugman writes about has relied onhis academic expertise. His columns aren't about trade theory or stochasticcalculus, but about flagrant deceptions and fourth-grade arithmetic. What makesKrugman interesting, in short, is not just why he writes what he writes. It'swhy nobody else does.

 

Facts vs. Spin

 

"This is not what I do. This is notwho I am," Krugman sighs. It's a week before the election, and he hasinvited me to his tiny, cluttered office on the fourth floor of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School,an imposing pile of white marble that, from a distance, resembles an oversizedbicycle rack. In pictures, Krugman looks self-assured, even a little hard-eyed.In person, he's friendly but ill at ease, a schlumpy professor in chinos and abeige button-down, who dislikes being interviewed, he says, owing to a few badexperiences with reporters. And it shows--his eyes dart nervously around theroom, and every so often he rubs his face vigorously with both palms."This is not my natural habitat. Sometimes, I think that if I had knownwhat it would be like, I would never have agreed to do this column. What Ireally do is international trade and finance," he says, gesturing towardan anonymous stack of papers on one side of the room. "Professionally,"he adds, "I should be worrying a lot about Brazil right now?"

 

In truth, Krugman hasn't been a pureacademic since at least the mid-1990s, when he first began writing widely forpopular magazines like Fortune and Slate. But his column for the Times has beenunusual on several counts. One is what Krugman enthusiasts might call his senseof mission. Beginning during the 2000 campaign Krugman began to writefrequently about George W. Bush, and since Bush took office, the president orhis administration have made an appearance in about three-quarters of Krugman's200 or so columns. He has written especially forcefully, and especially often,about the Bush administration's plans for privatizing Social Security("Enron-like") and Bush's now-passed tax plan ("patently,shamelessly dishonest"). Indeed, Krugman has written so many columnsattacking Bush's tax cut that you could make a book from them--as, in fact, hedid, publishing Fuzzy Math: The Essential Guide to the Bush Tax Plan in May 2001.And although Krugman can get pretty worked up--he once compared Bush to thenativist French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen--he's generally not a screamer.Rather, he writes mostly about facts, and spin: the fact that at least 40percent of Bush's tax cut will eventually go to the wealthiest 1 percent ofAmericans, versus the administration's spin that it was aimed mainly at themiddle class. Plenty of other columnists have made these points. But onlyKrugman makes them in such detail, over and over again.

 

If Krugman's zeal is in part what makes himso appealing to liberal activists, it's also what makes him so off-putting toRepublicans and conservatives--and a fair number of center-left journalists.Krugman is regularly attacked by fellow pundits, most exhaustively by former New Republiceditor-turned-blogger Andrew Sullivan and former Washington Monthlyeditor-turned-blogger Mickey Kaus, each of whom inveighs against Krugman almostas often as Krugman inveighs against Bush. And like many partisans, Krugman canstir unruly passions. Last year, after he published an encomium to the lateeconomist James Tobin, he received a bizarre screed from actor and game-showhost Ben Stein; Stein, who majored in economics in college, accused Krugman, alikely future Nobel laureate, of having a "limited background" in thefield. There are Web sites devoted to attacking Krugman's work, as well as aPaul Krugman Archive, which contains every article he has ever written, startedby a high school student in New York.

 

For Krugman devotees, however, the mainappeal is his proclivity for writing things before it is okay to write them.Journalists may love to break news, but they hate to contradict the narrativesthat crystallize around particular politicians or policies. Late last winter,for instance, the established storyline on California's energy crisis was that LeftCoasters had only themselves to blame: the state had passed a flawedderegulation law, which led its utilities to rely on the spot energy marketwhen prices were high. This neutral explanation came from the supposedlycompetent and disinterested Federal Energy Regulatory Committee, so reportersfavored it. And while the press gave plenty of column inches to the Bushadministration's preferred spin--that environmentalists had stymied theconstruction of needed generation capacity--few reporters gave credence togroups like Public Citizen, who blamed the crisis on market manipulation byenergy companies, many of them based in Texas and enjoying close ties to theadministration. But Krugman, noting that economists had long worried about thevulnerability of California'swading system to price-fixing, argued that market manipulation was the obviousculprit; otherwise, he wrote in March 2001, the power company executives"are either saints or very bad businessmen." Krugman was ignored atthe time. Twenty months later--following the collapse of Enron, three federalinvestigations into the Californiacrisis, and a passel of indictments against energy company officials--Krugmanhas been proved right.

 

More often, though, his scoops areconceptual. The tax cut, Bush's Social Security plan, Enron, the energy crisis,and Harken--all Krugman hobbyhorses--were widely covered in the media. But hehas been the only prominent columnist to attempt to weave all of them into asingle, continuing narrative about the Bush administration's policies, wealthinequality, corporate profiteering, and the ascendancy of crony capitalism.Many political columnists, for instance, expressed outrage and anger over theway Enron executives locked ordinary employees into Enron-only 401(k) planswhile they themselves were unloading the company's stock. For Krugman, though,Enron's abuse was of a piece with the Bush approach on tax cuts: "First,use cooked numbers to justify big giveaways to the top. Then if things don'twork out, let ordinary workers who trusted you pay the pricey

 

Krugman was not, and is not, the onlyperson in Americawho believes that the Bush administration is in cahoots with interests out tobilk Americans and pervert the political process. But as a Times columnist,closely read by the political elite and syndicated to papers across thecountry, he has been able to validate the anger of a whole class of angry,frustrated Democrats who feel that he's the only one prepared to describe theworld as it really is. "He goes against the very basic thing that peopleand journalists want to believe about Bush: `Say what you want, but the guy'shonest,'" says James Carville, the blunt, flamboyant host of CNN's"Crossfire." "Krugman says, no-he's a complete fraud."

 

Krugman was born and raised on Long Island, where he enjoyed what he describes as an"utterly conventional" suburban childhood. After reading IsaacAsimov's classic Foundation novels, he nurtured a secret desire to be one ofAsimov's "psychohistorians"--futuristic social scientists who couldpredict the course of human history. At Yale during the 1970s, he did the nextbest thing, majoring in economics under the tutelage of economist William Nordhaus.Like Nordhaus, Krugman attended graduate school at MIT; in 1977, Krugman joinedthe economics faculty at Yale. Within a few years, he had begun to help thinkthrough what would later be called "new trade theory," which holdsthat an increasing proportion of trade can be explained by technologicalinnovation rather than Countries' comparative advantage (i.e., in naturalresources). Krugman's work on the subject cemented his academic reputation andlaunched him into the ranks of rising young stars in the field.

 

His first and last sojourn in Washington began in1982, when Martin Feldstein, then chairman of Ronald Reagan's Council ofEconomic Advisers (CEA), invited Krugman, Lawrence Summers, and a few otherwhiz kids onto the CEA's staff. The early '80s recession and debt crisis hadthrown Reagan's economic policy into disarray, and Feldstein had been broughtin to fix things up. Working in government had two contradictory effects onKrugman. On the one hand, it induced in him a deep dislike for those he wouldlater describe as "policy entrepreneurs"--activists and journalists,usually lacking academic credentials, who seemed to exert so much influenceover economic decision-making in Washington. Feldstein was a pioneer of thesupply side policies then in favor among Reaganites, who believed taxes werethe most important determinant of economic growth. But unlike policyentrepreneurs such as Jude Wannisky and The Wall Street Journal's RobertBartlett, Feldstein refused to pretend that Reagan's massive tax cut could payfor itself. When Feldstein insisted on issuing accurate budget projectionsanticipating government deficits, and even called for a small tax increase tooffset them, the administration's supply side purists attacked. (TreasurySecretary Donald Regan even urged reporters to "throw out" thecouncil's annual report) Like many economists, Krugman cherished hisdisciplines purity, and the sight of Feldstein being pummeled for not paintinga rosier election-year picture was deeply disillusioning. "One thing youlearn when you're working in an administration--not to mention at the Fed,where it's even more extreme--is to think three times before you speak and thenbite your tongue," says Alan Blinder, the Princeton economist and formervice chairman of the Federal Reserve. "That's not how academics normallybehave."

 

But Krugman also found that he likedwriting about economic policy, and a seed was planted. The technical papers andbooks that he produced during the mid- and late 1980s, many of them integratingand extending his earlier work on trade theory, were notable for theircreativity and number and helped set Krugman on his way to winning the JohnBates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to a rising young economist, in 1991. ButKrugman's late-'80s work was also less abstract than his previous efforts,drawing inspiration from real-world policy dilemmas. Eventually, at thesuggestion of Michael Barker, a former Hill staffer working at The WashingtonPost, Krugman, by then ensconced at MIT, sat down to write his first book for apopular audience. The Age of Diminished Expectations, a kind of primer on basiceconomic principles as they applied to current events, was published in 1990.And while it wasn't a bestseller, the book was lucid, informative, and widelyread among journalists and opinion leaders, launching Krugman's career as abona fide public intellectual.

 

Very soon, however, Washington disappointed Krugman again. Hiswriting and congressional testimony about income inequality brought him to theattention of Bill Clinton's campaign in 1992, which used some of his findingsto attack the Bush administration. When Wannisky and other conservatives arguedthat skyrocketing income inequality was in fact a myth, Clinton's aides enlisted Krugman to help themfight the ensuing propaganda war. When he published a defense of Clinton's economic plan in the Times that August, it waswidely assumed that Krugman would be Clinton'spick, should he win, as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

 

Clinton did win. But his economic transition team was headed by Robert B.Reich, a Harvard lecturer, journalist, and author who had penned the early '90sother big policy tome, The Work of Nations. Not only had Reich tussled withKrugman over trade policy during the 1980s;. he had also gone to Oxford with Clinton.Eventually, Reich became Secretary of Labor in the new administration, whileStanford economist Laura D'Andrea Tyson was named chair of the CEA. Many othereconomists were drafted into top administration slots, including Krugman'scolleague from the Reagan days, Larry Summers. But Krugman was passedover--largely, say former Clintonofficials, because he was deemed too volatile. (After clashing with fellowattendees at Clinton's Little Rock economic summit, for example, hehad appeared on "Larry King Live" to declare the meeting"useless.")

 

Krugman didn't take the rejection well, andlashed out at Clinton'sappointees. To Washingtonians, the key division on the Clinton economic team lay between theStimulators, such as Reich and Tyson, and the deficit hawks, notably TreasurySecretary Lloyd Bentsen and budget director Leon Panetta. But for Krugman, thekey division was between real economists qualified to set national policy andpolicy entrepreneurs, who were not. In a Times article that January, he wasquoted as saying Tyson lacked "analytical skills"--just a few weeksafter giving a speech at the annual meeting of the American EconomicAssociation lambasting Reich and Ira Magaziner as "pop internationalists"who "repeat silly cliches but imagine themselves to besophisticated."

 

Reich, Tyson, and a handful of otheralleged policy entrepreneurs came in for further attack in Krugman's next book,Peddling Prosperity (1994). It wasn't just that they were wrong, Krugmandeclared. It was that they were all dangerous hacks, snake-oil salesman sellingfoolish remedies to credulous politicians (like Clinton). Real economists eschew policy,insulating themselves from the intellectual compromise endemic to the politicalworld. Policy entrepreneurs, however, tend to write "in newspapers andsemi-popular magazines like Foreign Affairs, The Harvard Business Review, andThe New Republic." Moreover, the "fault line between serious economicthinking and economic patent medicine, between the professors and the policyentrepreneurs," Krugman wrote, "is at least as important as thedivide between left and right."

 

But what was strange about PeddlingProsperity, as economics journalist Robert Kuttner would note in a lengthyassessment of Krugman published in The American Prospect two years later, wasthat Krugman quickly became the most prolific policy entrepreneur of them all.(Reich and Kuttner are co-founders of the Prospect, where I was a staff writerfor four years.) By 1996, Krugman had published enough articles in ForeignPolicy, Fortune, The Economic, Harper's, this magazine, and, yes, ForeignAffairs and The Harvard Business Review, to fill a second mass-audiencebook--Pop Internationalism. His defense? "What I eventually realized,"he wrote in the introduction, "was that an effective answer to popinternationalism would require a new kind of writing ... essays fornon-economists that were clear, effective, and entertaining"

 

Evidently, the urgency of combating popinternationalists outweighed the dangers of popular writing, and Krugman tookto his new task with great enthusiasm. Slate signed him up for a column, as didThe New lark Times Magazine, and he quickly mastered the form. Some ofKrugman's best writing dates from this period, and he was acclaimed as the heirto John Kenneth Galbraith. His pieces in Slate, especially, were funny,revealing, and exceptionally fluid, if occasionally dismissive to those withwhom he disagreed. As always, a good portion of his writing was devoted todebunking them--leftists who criticized the World Trade Organization, supportedprotectionism, and still believed in Keynes; conservatives who argued that theDow could reach 36,000 and still believed in supply side economics.

 

It was largely on the strength of Krugman'swriting for the Times Magazine and Slate--plus, of course, his burgeoningacademic reputation--that Howell Raines, then the Times editorial-page editor,approached Krugman about writing a regular column. This was in 1999, at the heightof the boom, and Raines felt that the Times needed someone who could, asKrugman puts it, "write about the vagaries of business and economics in anage of prosperity." Krugman's early Times column was notably less drollthan his earlier writing and covered the kinds of topics he and Raines haddiscussed: the AOL Time-Warner merger, Bill Gates, and, when it finallyhappened, the stock market plunge. But Krugman still had a taste for the bloodof the "hired gun"--"usually a mediocre economist," hewrote in an April 2000 column, who "has found a receptive audience forwork that does have an ideological edge?

 

。。。。。。(略)
 

"He is obviously a very smart guybasically liberal, with complicated views, who once recognized when his ownside was wrong. And at some point he switched and became someone who only seeswhat's wrong with the other side, in fairly crude terms," says MickeyKaus. "The Bush tax cut is based on lies. But it's not enough to criticizea policy to say that it's based on lies. You have to say' whether it's good orbad for the country." True, Kaus is probably Krugman's most vociferousnon-right-wing critic. But even among those journalists and politicos who enjoyhis column, it's not uncommon to hear the comment that Krugman might be alittle more effective if he were just a little less rabid. "k isconsidered the appropriate thing to say at a dinner party that, while Krugmanis very bright, he's just too relentless on Bush," drawls James Carville. "Becauseto accept Krugman's facts as right makes the Washington press look like idiots?'

 

These days, however, there's a good marketfor journalists willing to be a little relentless when it comes to the Bushadministration. Of course, Krugman, like any good economist, knows that in mostmarkets the biggest profits come from having some sort of monopoly. Butmonopolies don't endure; competitors .always arise. Right now, when it comes toanalyzing the intellectual underpinnings of the Bush administration, Krugmanhas no competition. But as is usually the case, it might be better for everyoneelse if this particular monopoly didn't last.


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