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Allyn Young

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阿林·杨格(Allyn Abbott Young)
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阿林·楊格(Allyn Abbott Young)
阿林·楊格(Allyn Abbott Young)

目錄

  • 1 阿林·楊格簡介
  • 2 阿林·楊格的《報酬遞增與經濟進步》[1]
  • 3 Allyn Abbott Young
  • 4 Bibliographie
  • 5 參考文獻

阿林·楊格簡介

  阿林·楊格(Allyn Abbott Young,1876–1929)美國經濟學家,l928年在英國科學促進協會F分部主席的就職演說了《報酬遞增與經濟進步》。這篇論文之所以非常著名,是因為它提供了一條與馬歇爾不同的發展古典經濟學思想的思路。然而,正如西奧多·W·舒爾茨所指出的:“令人不解的是在場格精辟的文章之後,經濟學界競對這個問題長期保持沉默。”50年代以後,它對經濟發展理論產生了很重要的影響。

阿林·楊格的《報酬遞增與經濟進步》[1]

  《報酬遞增與經濟進步》是美國經濟學家阿林•楊格(1876—1929)l 928年在英國科學促進協會F分部主席的就職演說。這篇論文之所以非常著名,是因為它提供了一條與馬歇爾不同的發展古典經濟學思想的思路。然而,正如西奧多•W•舒爾茨

所指出的:“令人不解的是在場格精辟的文章之後,經濟學界競對這個問題長期保持沉默。”50年代以後,它對經濟發展理論產生了很重要的影響。

  報酬遞增理論最早可以追溯到亞當·斯密的國富論。斯密從企業的角度說明瞭報酬遞增產生的過程,並提出了勞動分工受市場範圍限制定理,即生產力的勞動分工是財富增長的主要原因,而新的勞動分工取決於市場的擴大。兩者結合起來形成了憑藉持續引進新的分工而自我維持的增長理論。斯密的報酬遞增理論體現在兩個層次:

  其一是微觀層次的勞動分工。“勞動生產力上最大的增進,以及運用勞動時歷表現的更大的熟練、技巧和判斷力,似乎都是分工的結果。其中技術變遷以分工加速知識積累的形成,成為報酬遞增永不枯竭的源泉。

  其二是巨集觀層次的分工因果累積。分工既是經濟進步的原因又是其結果,這個因果累積的過程體現出的就是報酬遞增機制。分工累積以及以知識積累體現的技術變遷都屬於動態範疇,必然導致壟斷的出現,其與靜態的競爭均衡是不相容的。這正是斯密定理的兩難困境之所在。

  阿爾弗雷德·馬歇爾(Alfred Marshall)對斯密定理兩難困境和報酬遞增的處理,關鍵是提出了外部經濟的概念。馬歇爾認為,“可把因任何一種產品

的生產規模之擴大而發生的經濟分為兩類,第一類取決於產業的一般發展;第二類經濟取決於從事工商業的單個企業的資源,它們的組織以及它們的效率。”他把前者稱為外部經濟,後者稱為內部經濟。由於他意識到內部經濟的差異將瓦解競爭均衡,所以假想不論任何時候,該廠都享有所屬工業生產總規模所具有的內部經濟和外部經濟的平均份額,其結果外部經濟的自然增長成為報酬遞增的唯一源泉,即產業的規模擴大決定於整個工業生產總量的增加,一個廠商的規模擴大取決於產業的發展。

  楊格認為,馬歇爾的這種區分至少在以下兩個不同的方面至今是有用的。

  首先,它防止了或應該防止一種普遍的錯誤,即報酬遞增發生作用的地方必然導致實際的壟斷趨勢。

  其次:它簡化了對在報酬遞增情況下所生產的商品的價格決定方式的分析。

  但是,從內部經濟和外部經濟的區分中來考察產業進步過程的性質必然帶有片面性。產業進步過程的某些方面得到了闡釋,但由於某種原因,與其他問題相關的某些重要方面是不清楚的。比如,某些生產原料和設備的企業的內部經濟可以看作是其他企業的外部經濟,但是,不能把所有獨立的企業的內部經濟加在一起,就把所有的經濟稱之為外部經濟。當我們考察某個企業的內部經濟時,我們會設想一個比較穩定的狀態。這家企業象其他競爭者

一樣,年復一年製造某種產品或某一組產品,或者說從事為生產某種最終產品所需要的某種中間階段的作業。它的經營不斷適應產出的增加而發生變化,但是又受到確定的範圍的約束。但是,外部環境中,新產品不斷出現,企業面臨著新的任務,新的產業正在誕生。簡言之,外部領域既有質的變化,又有量的變化。試圖從個別企業的成本和這個企業產品的價格中來研究報酬遞增,對研究這個領域來說是徒勞無益的。

  阿林•楊格在斯密勞動分工思想的基礎上提出了迂迴生產和社會收益遞增概念。楊格認為最重要的分工形式是生產迂迴程度的加強及新行業的出現。他指出,分工使一組複雜的過程轉化為相繼完成的簡單過程,其中某些過程終於導致機器的採用。在使用機器,採用間接過程時,分工進一步發展了,後者從經濟角度看又受到市場範圍的限制。為敲打一個鐵釘而製造一把鐵錘是浪費的,還不如使用手邊任何拙笨的工具。為製造一百輛汽車而裝備具有夾具、量具、機床、鑽床、鍛床和傳送帶等優良設備的工廠是不經濟的,不如大部分使用標準的工具和機器,更多地使用直接勞動,較少地使用間接勞動。楊格強調了兩點:

  第一點,表現為報酬遞增的主要經濟是生產的資本化或迂迴方法的經濟。這些經濟又主要與現代形式的勞動分工的經濟相等同。

  第二點,迂迴方法的經濟,比其他形式的勞動分工的經濟更多地取決於市場的規模。沒有人能懷疑在“筒單化和標準化”方面所取得的卓越的經濟,而要取得這些經濟,就必鬚根除某些根深蒂固的競爭浪費,為了實現這一目的,就必須集中力量。

  楊格的第二點談到了報酬遞增加何反映在產業活動的組織變遷中的問題。他指出,現在人們談論較多的是產業的一體化,認為它是工業產出增加的伴侶或自然結果。但是,與此相反的過程即產業的分化現在和將來仍然是與生產增長相聯繫的典型的變化類型。值得註意的是,因為生活設施日益複雜化,如消費品市場上所提供的產品日益多樣化所顯示的那樣,所以,中間產品以及製造某種產品和某類產品的產業的分化也在發展。例如,早期印刷者的繼承者今天不只是擁有某一企業的印刷者,而且也包括木漿的生產者、各種紙張的生產者、油墨及其不同配料的生產者、字模金屬和字模的生產者,製作插圖和掌握各種製版技術的產業集團,印刷業及其輔助工業所需工具和機器的製造者。在大部分工業領域中,在原料生產者和最終產品消費者之間所插入的專業化企業的網路越來越複雜。隨著產業間勞動分工的擴大,一個企業以及它作為部分構成的產業,失去了其統一性。這個企業內部經濟分解成為專業化程度更高的各個企業的內部經濟和外部經濟。這種分解是對工業最終產品市場的增長所創造的新形勢的調整,因而,產業間的分工是報酬遞增的媒介。這種形式的變化,不僅對充分發揮資本化的生產方式納優勢有重要作用(雖然這是主要的),而且可以發揮並不依賴於技術變化的某些自身的優勢。

  最後,楊格談到,在概述亞當•斯密原理的這些變化時,必須強調以下三點。首先,通過觀察個別企業和個別產業的規模的變化效應,是弄不清楚報酬遞增機制的,因為,產業的不斷分工和專業化是報酬遞增得以實現的過程的一個基本組成部分。必須把產業經營看作是相互聯繫的整體。其次,報酬遞增取決於勞動分工的發展,現代形式的勞動分工的主要經濟,是以迂迴或間接方式使用勞動所取得的經濟。第三,勞動分工取決於市場規模,而市場規模又取決於勞動分工。經濟進步的可能性就存在於上述條件中,人們除了獲取新知識,取得進步外,也可以取得這種經濟進步的可能性,不論他們所追求的是經濟利益或非經濟的利益。

  楊格的理論對四、五十年代的早期發展經濟學思想的形成產生了巨大的影響。例如,楊格的論文給羅森斯坦-羅丹的《東南歐國家的工業化問題》(1943)打上了深深烙印;羅格納·納克斯(Ragnar Nurkse)的《不發達國家的資本形成問題》(1952)是以楊格的“迴圈累積因果原理”為開篇展開討論的;綱納·繆達爾(Karl Gunnar Myrdal)在《經濟理論與不發達地區》(1957)中所提出的地區或國際間的“貧因的惡性迴圈”理論實際上是楊格思想的翻版。舒爾茨對楊格的思想推崇備至,併在《為實現收益遞增進行的專業化人力資本投資》(1986)中發展了楊格的理論。總之,楊格理論對後來經濟理論的發展起了重要的作用。

Allyn Abbott Young

  Allyn Abbott Young (1876–1929) was a celebrated American economist. He was born into a middle-class family in Kenton, Ohio on September 19, 1876 and died aged 52 in London on March 7, 1929, his life cut short by pneumonia during an influenza epidemic. He was then at the height of his intellectual powers and current president of Section F of the British Association. Uniquely, Young had also been president of the American Statistical Association (1917) and the American Economic Association (1925).

  As documented in a recent biography by Charles Blitch (1995), Young was a brilliant student, graduating from Hiram College in 1894 at the age of sixteen, the youngest graduate on record. After a few years in the printing trade he enrolled in 1898 in the graduate school of the University of Wisconsin where he studied economics under Richard T. Ely and William A. Scott, history under Charles H. Haskins and Frederick Jackson Turner, and statistics under Edward D. Jones. In 1900 he was engaged for a year as an assistant in the United States Bureau of the Census in Washington DC where he established lifelong friendships with Walter F. Willcox, Wesley C. Mitchell and Thomas S. Adams.

  Young returned to the University of Wisconsin as Instructor in Economics for the 1901–02 academic session and graduated there in 1902 with a doctoral dissertation on Age Statistics. He then embarked on what Blitch has called a peripatetic academic career, beginning with posts at Western Reserve University, 1902–04; Dartmouth, 1904–05; and Wisconsin, 1905–06. He was then head of the economics department at Stanford, 1906–10, followed by a year at Harvard as visitor, 1910–11, and two years at Washington University, St Louis, 1911–13. From 1913 to 1920 he was professor at Cornell, but war took him to Washington DC in 1917 to direct the Bureau of Statistical Research for the War Trade Board, and to New York in 1918 to head the economics division of a group known as "The Enquiry" under Colonel Edward M. House, the group charged with laying the groundwork for the Paris peace conference.

  After the war, Young moved to Harvard in 1920 where he stayed until 1927 when he accepted William Beveridge's offer of the chair vacated by Edwin Cannan at the London School of Economics. He intended remaining at the LSE for three years before returning to Harvard. In December 1928 he traveled to the University of Chicago to explain in person why he felt unable to accept their invitation to be chairman of their economics department. It was shortly after his return to London that he succumbed to the fateful influenza epidemic.

  At the time of his death T. E. Gregory, a colleague at the LSE, wrote that Young had recently "begun work on a systematic treatise on economic theory and had resumed the writing of the work upon monetary theory which he had begun at Harvard." He continued:

  A passion for thoroughness would drive him on to explore every inch of the field in which he was for the time interested: he was always convinced that economic truth was not the monopoly of a single school or way of thinking, and that the first duty of a teacher and thinker was to see the strong points in every presentation of a point of view. Such an attitude of mind, combined with great personal modesty, made for unsystematic writing: for scattered papers and articles and not for a comprehensive treatise. In many respects he resembled Edgeworth, for whose work he felt a growing admiration; and if Young's work is ever collected, it will be seen that, like Edgeworth's, it amounts in sum to a very considerable and impressive achievement.

  In 1971 Nobel Laureate Bertil Ohlin, who attended a course of Young's at Harvard in 1922–23, wrote to Young's biographer:

I am inclined to believe that he was a man, who knew and thoroughly understood his subject — economics — better than anyone else I have met. I tested him by means of a question about the "Wicksell effect", i.e. the special aspects of the marginal productivity of capital, which at that time was practically unknown in most countries outside of Scandinavia. He immediately gave a fine account in a five minutes speech before the students. What characterizes Allyn Young as an economist was that he had deep understanding of all fields of economic theory while other economists knew well one third of the theory and had only superficial knowledge of the rest.

  Young's other famous students, strongly influenced by him, included Frank H. Knight, Edward Chamberlin, Nicholas Kaldor and Lauchlin Currie. He was also an influential adviser in the 1920s to Benjamin Strong, governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Much of his writing was published anonymously and posthumously in encyclopedias, but rescued from oblivion in a volume edited by Perry Mehrling and Roger Sandilands (1999).

  His best-known single paper was his presidential address to the British Association in September 1928 on "Increasing returns and economic progress". Nicholas Kaldor insisted that this paper had been neglected because it was 50 years ahead of his time, but it has recently enjoyed a revival of interest as an acknowledged forerunner of modern "endogenous growth theory".

Bibliographie

  • Some Limitations of the Value Concept, 1911, QJE.
  • Review of Wicksteed’s Common Sense, 1911, AER
  • Jevons’s Theory of Political Economny, 1912, AER
  • Do the Statistics of the Concentration of Wealth in the United States Mean What They Are Commonly Assumed to Mean ?", 1917, AER
  • Economic Problems New and Old, 1927.
  • Analysis of Banking Statsistics for the United States, 1928.
  • Increasing Returns and Economic Progress, 1928, EJ

參考文獻

  1. ↑ 讀《報酬遞增與經濟進步》