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今年诺奖明显忽视了张五常的原创贡献  

2009-10-14 09:44:45|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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今年诺奖明显忽视了张五常的原创贡献

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 1:27 pm

被2009年诺贝尔颁奖委员会高度评价的洞见,至少在张五常1974和1987年的两件作品中可以完全清楚地看到原型,而 Ostrom 被认定的相关贡献,则最早只能追溯到其1990年的作品。我认为2009年诺贝尔经济学奖明显忽视了张五常在时间上早得多的原创性贡献。 

今年诺奖忽视了张五常的原创贡献 

薛兆丰
2009年10月12日 

欣慰 Elinor Ostrom 与 Oliver Williamson 共同获得今年诺贝尔经济学奖。Williamson 那一半,如果能跟 Armen Alchian 和 Harold Demsetz 分享就好了。关于 Williamson 那部分,容我有时间再谈,有很值得讨论的内容。但关于 Ostrom 那部分,我一定要先讲。Ostrom 夫妇是我母校乔治·梅森大学经济系的座上客,均曾担任公共选择学会会长。他们的一个博士生,是我为了拿奖学金而服务的第一老板,好些老师都写过专门讨论他们贡献的文章和书籍。他们是夫妻挡,出双入对,一样有名。我也见过他们。坐下来,听说我来自中国,就问我是否认识毛寿龙(他们的发音准确到“毛秀龙”的程度),我说我久闻其名,他们就很高兴。她得奖后,相信毛寿龙老师和王建勋老师会好好写些庆贺的文章。

然而,我认为这次颁奖对张五常不公平。根据瑞典皇家科学院提供的证据(见证据一),Ostrom 的贡献之一是对“公地悲剧”的挑战。传统认为,资源要么彻底私有,要么彻底公有,否则就会被争用行为耗尽其价值。但 Ostrom 指出人们会自发地衍生出某些规则,从而降低非私有资源的价值损耗。根据 Ostrom 自己为 2008年版的《新帕尔格雷夫经济学辞典》的“公地悲剧”条目(见证据二),她也确认了自己的贡献。这两项证据都表明,她这一贡献的最早依据是她在1990年发表的一本书。

但是,我们知道,张五常早在1974年的一篇论文“价格管制的理论”里(见证据三),就明确地阐述了同样的思想。张五常写道:“在存在非排他性的收入,以及它具有耗散的趋势的情况下,与此有牵连的每方当事人都会在约束条件下把耗散减到最小。”由于张五常在公共财产的治理方面的洞见,他被邀请撰写1987年版的《新帕尔格雷夫经济学辞典》中的“公共产权”条目(见证据四),这个条目也重申了人们会设法减少公用资源耗散的见解。

要指出,1987年版的《新帕尔格雷夫辞典》里张五常所写的四个条目(包括“公共产权”),在2008版里都被剔除了;而在2008版里 Ostrom 所写的“公地悲剧”条目,则不仅没有提及该辞典1987年旧版里张五常写的“公共产权”条目的内容,也没有提及张五常1974年的论文。

这是说,被2009年诺贝尔颁奖委员会高度评价的洞见,至少在张五常1974和1987年的两件作品中可以完全清楚地看到原型,而 Ostrom 被认定的相关贡献,则最早只能追溯到其1990年的作品。根据上述四项证据,我认为2008年的Ostrom博士和2009年诺贝尔经济学奖委员会,均明显忽视了张五常早在1974年就作出的原创贡献。

证据一:
Scientific Background on the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2009/ecoadv09.pdf

Elinor Ostrom (1990) has challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly managed and should be completely privatized or regulated by central authorities. Based on numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes, and groundwater basins, Ostrom concluded that the outcomes are often better than predicted by standard theories. [Ostrom, E. (1990): Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Actions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.]

证据二:
Ostrom, Elinor. “tragedy of the commons.” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 11 May 2009 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_T000193> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.1729

Policy analysts tend to look for certainty and want to know whether the tragedy of the commons theory is either right or wrong. A more productive approach is to ask under what conditions it is correct and when it makes the wrong predictions. In settings where there is a large group, no one communicates, and where no rights to the resource exist, Hardin’s theory is supported by considerable evidence. There are many settings in the world where the tragedy of the commons has occurred and continues to occur – ocean fisheries and the atmosphere being the most obvious.
Contrary to the conventional theory, however, multiple studies have demonstrated that users have overcome social dilemmas to craft institutions to govern their own resources (National Research Council, 1986; 2002; McCay and Acheson, 1987; Ostrom, 1990; 2005). The possibility, however, that the users would find ways to organize themselves was not mentioned in basic economic textbooks on environmental problems until recently (compare Clark, 1976, with Hackett, 1998). The design principles that characterize robust, long-lasting, institutional arrangements for the governance of common-pool resources have been identified (Ostrom, 1990) and supported by further testing (Guillet, 1992; Morrow and Hull, 1996; Weinstein, 2000).

证据三:
Cheung, Steven N. S. “A Theory of Price Control.” Journal of Law and Economics, 1974, 17(1), pp. 53-71.

Proposition 2: Given the existence of non-exclusive income and its tendency to dissipate, each and every party involved will seek to minimize the dissipation subject to constraints. This will be done either through seeking alternatives in using or producing the good so that the decline in resource value is the lowest, or through forming alternative contractual arrangements to govern the use or production of the good with the least rise in transaction costs, or through the least costly combination of the two procedures.

证据四:
Cheung, Steven N. S. “Common property rights,” M. M. John Eatwell, Peter Newman, The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, 1987,

In the real world, the complete dissipation of rent is rare indeed. … Attempts to reduce rent dissipation go far to explain why common property in its ‘pure’ form is seldom observed. … What is useful and important from the standpoint of economic explanation is to view whatever rent dissipation does occur as necessarily a constrained minimum becasue, under the maximization postulate, each and every individual has an incentive to reduce that dissipation. 

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