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货币主义反对靠增发货币来刺激经济  

2009-02-16 09:31:45|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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货币主义反对靠增发货币来刺激经济

Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 2:58 am

以弗里德曼为首的货币主义学派,是不主张通过增加货币量来刺激就业或生产的。其理念四十年前就已确立。谁也不应该把不属于货币主义的内容往货币主义者的嘴里塞,然后又把属于货币主义的理念据为己出。

货币主义反对靠增发货币来刺激经济

薛兆丰
2009年2月14日

以弗里德曼(Milton Friedman)为首的货币主义学派,是从不主张通过增加货币量来刺激就业或生产的。货币主义主张货币供应变化量保持稳定,令公众可预测,且不对失业和生产其他因素作相机调整;货币主义同时主张拆除政府管制,增进市场自由,从而在保持总体价格水平稳定的同时,使各生产要素和产品的相对价格自由波动。

这些理念是四十年前就确立的。谁也不应该把不属于货币主义的内容往货币主义者的嘴里塞,然后又把属于货币主义的理念据为己出。现摘录几段引文,供朋友们参考。

引文一来自托宾(James Tobin)。托宾是宏观经济学家,在1981年获得诺贝尔奖。托宾在为《简明经济学百科全书》撰写的“货币政策(monetary policy)”条目中,先声明自己是个与“货币主义”观点向左的“凯恩斯主义者”,然后公正地陈述了“货币主义”的内涵和影响。托宾写道:

弗里德曼在1968年说服了经济学界:假如货币政策持续试图把失业率压到“自然失业率”(与凯恩斯的“完全就业”相对的失业率)以下,则只会爆炸性地推高通货膨胀率。弗里德曼进一步总结说,货币政策绝不应该把自己牵涉到失业、生产或其他真实变量上去。这个结论至今仍非常有影响力。

Milton Friedman convinced the economics profession in 1968 that if monetary policy persistently attempts to bring unemployment below “the natural rate of unemployment” (the rate corresponding to Keynes’s “full employment”), it will only boost the inflation rate explosively. Friedman’s further conclusion that monetary policy should never concern itself with unemployment, production, or other real variables has been very influential.

引文二来自卡根(Phillip Cagan)。卡根是哥伦比亚大学荣休教授,是“恶性通货膨胀”领域的权威,1940年代毕业于芝加哥大学,弗里德曼是他的博士论文导师。卡根在为《新帕尔格雷夫经济学辞典》撰写的“货币主义(monetarism)”条目中写道:

弗里德曼和布鲁纳(Brunner)和马尔泽(Meltzer)都论证说,由于人们不可能未卜先知,积极的货币政策往往会激化而不是熨平经济波动。按照他们的看法,稳定的货币增长率可以使货币免于变成经济的干扰源,并可以确保物价水平在长期内保持大致稳定。虽然经济活动的其他不稳定因素还会继续存在,但它们会因这样的货币政策而减弱;而不管怎样,那些不稳定因素都不是货币政策本身可以避免的。货币当局如果承诺以稳定货币增长为己任,那么也有助于缓冲常年来自政治方面要求做短期货币刺激的压力,并为投资者消除“酌情货币政策带来不可预测后果”的不确定性。

Friedman as well as Brunner and Meltzer argued that an active monetary policy, in the absence of an impossibly ideal foresight, tends to exacerbate, rather than smooth, economic fluctuations. In their view a stable monetary growth rate would avoid monetary sources of economic disturbances, and could be set to produce an approximately constant price level over the long run. Remaining instabilities in economic activity would be minor and, in any event, were  beyond the capabilities of policy to prevent. A commitment by the monetary authorities to stable monetary growth would also help deflect constant political pressures for short-run monetary stimulus and would remove the uncertainty for investors of the unexpected effects of discretionary monetary policies.

引文三引自舒瓦茨(Anna Schwartz)。舒瓦茨与弗里德曼曾经合著两大卷的 《美国货币史》(Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1961 )。最近《华尔街日报》对舒瓦茨的题为“伯南克在打的是上一场战斗”的访问是这样写的:

舒瓦茨女士认为我们的中央银行家和财政部这次又搞错了。 

“做了错误决策的企业应该倒闭,”她直言不讳地说:“你不应该挽救他们。这个原则一旦确立,我想市场就会承认它的意义。如果错误的决定受到惩罚,正确的决定得到奖励,那么事情就会好办得多,”问题是“这些年来的事情都不是这样处理的。”

在2002年伯南克在庆祝弗里德曼90岁诞辰时致词说:“我要对米尔顿和安娜说:关于大萧条的问题,你们说对了,那是我们的责任。我们很抱歉,但托你们的福,我们不会再做错了。” 

“这是他认为联邦储备局值得存在的理由。”她说。他“熟悉历史,他知道过去发生过什么事情。”但可能这恰恰是伯南克先生最大的问题。今天的危机,不是1930年问题的重演,但我们的中央银行却采用了当年应该采用的手法来应对。他们在打的是上一场战斗。安娜女士认为结果就是失败。“我认为他们没有达到他们想要的目的。所以我对现任联邦储备局的领导能力的评判,是他们是失职的。”

Ms. Schwartz thinks that our central bankers and our Treasury Department are getting it wrong again.

“[F]irms that made wrong decisions should fail,” she says bluntly. “You shouldn’t rescue them. And once that’s established as a principle, I think the market recognizes that it makes sense. Everything works much better when wrong decisions are punished and good decisions make you rich.” The trouble is, “that’s not the way the world has been going in recent years.”

In 2002, Mr. Bernanke, then a Federal Reserve Board governor, said in a speech in honor of Mr. Friedman’s 90th birthday, “I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

“This was [his] claim to be worthy of running the Fed,” she says. He was “familiar with history. He knew what had been done.” But perhaps this is actually Mr. Bernanke’s biggest problem. Today’s crisis isn’t a replay of the problem in the 1930s, but our central bankers have responded by using the tools they should have used then. They are fighting the last war. The result, she argues, has been failure. “I don’t see that they’ve achieved what they should have been trying to achieve. So my verdict on this present Fed leadership is that they have not really done their job.”

引文四选自弗里德曼本人。他在1968年发表宣言式文章“货币政策的角色”:

在本文中我选择了货币政策的两项局限来讨论:(1)货币政策不可能锁定汇率,除非在很有限的时期内;(2)货币政策不可能锁定失业率,除非在很有限的时期内。

为了避免误会,我要强调,所谓“自然”失业率,并不是说它是不可变的。相反,很多影响它的高低的市场因素都是“人为的”或是“政策造成的”。例如,在美国的法定最低工资、Walsh-Healy 和 Davis-Bacon 法案、工会的力量等,全都是推高了自然失业率的因素。改善就业流动,提供职位空缺和劳力供给信息等,都能降低自然失业率。我之所以用“自然”二字,是为了把货币因素与上述真实世界的各种因素区分开来。

把我的结论换一种方式来表达,就是说通胀与就业之间,总是存在短暂的替代关系,却不存在永久的替代关系。短暂的替代关系并不是通货膨胀本身造成的,而是未被预期的通货膨胀造成的,而这通常就是通货膨胀率的上升。人们普遍误会,以为存在上述永久的替代关系,那是因为他们混淆了通货膨胀率的“上升”和“居高”的区别,这区别是我们在较简单的情况中都能认识到的。

我提出的解决办法仍然是,货币当局应该始终公开的货币政策,使得特定货币总量的增长率保持稳定,从而避免这种政策的摇摆。采取这种守住某个指定而为人所知的增长率的政策是重要的,而增长率具体是多少,就和货币总量具体是多少一样,是次要的问题。

I have selected two lin1itations of monetary policy to discuss: (1) It cannot peg interest rates for Ignore than very limited periods; (2) It cannot peg the rate of unemployment for more than very lin1ited periods.

To avoid misunderstanding, let me emphasize that by using the term “natural” rate of unemployment, I do not mean to suggest that it is immutable and unchangeable. On the contrary, many of the market characteristics that determine its level are man-made and policy-made. In the United States, for example, legal minimum wage rates, the Walsh-Healy and Davis-Bacon Acts, and the strength of labor unions all make the natural rate of unemployment higher than it would otherwise be. Improvements in employment exchanges, in availability of information about job vacancies and labor supply, and so on, would tend to lower the natural rate of unemployment. I use the term “natural” for the same reason Wicksell did-to try to separate the real forces from monetary forces.

To state this conclusion differently, there is always a ten1porary trade-off between inflation and unemployment; there is 110 permanent trade-off. The temporary trade-off comes not from inflation per se, but from unanticipated inflation, which generally means, from a rising rate of inflation. The widespread belief that there is a permanent trade-off is a sophisticated version of the confusion between “high” and “rising” that we all recognize in simpler forms. A rising rate of inflation may reduce unemployment, a high rate will not.

My own prescription is still that the monetary authority go all the way in avoiding such swings by adopting publicly the policy of achieving a steady rate of growth in a specified monetary total. The precise rate of growth, like the precise monetary total, is less important than the adoption of some stated and known rate. 

相关阅读

  1. 没有未来就不会有财富  
  2. Cagan, Phillip. “Monetarism,” M. M. J. Eatwell and P. Newman, The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2000.
  3. James Tobin, “Monetary Policy.” The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. 2008. Library of Economics and Liberty. 14 February 2009. <http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/MonetaryPolicy.html>.
  4. Friedman, Milton. “The Role of Monetary Policy.” The American Economic Review, 1968, 58(1), pp. 1-17.
  5. Bernanke Is Fighting the Last War, Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2008, athttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB122428279231046053.html
  6. 张五常,2009年2月,“美国救灾会搞出高通胀吗?”(“有以佛利民为掌门的货币派,主张增加货币量与借贷,从而在制度中加些滑油,使收入与财富上升。”)
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