阿林·杨格

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

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阿林·杨格简介

  阿林·杨格(Allyn Abbott Young,1876–1929)美国经济学家,l928年在英国科学促进协会F分部主席的就职演说了《报酬递增与经济进步》。这篇论文之所以非常著名,是因为它提供了一条与马歇尔不同的发展古典经济学思想的思路。然而,正如西奥多·W·舒尔茨所指出的:“令人不解的是在场格精辟的文章之后,经济学界竞对这个问题长期保持沉默。”50年代以后,它对经济发展理论产生了很重要的影响。

阿林·杨格的《报酬递增与经济进步》[1]

  《报酬递增与经济进步》是美国经济学家阿林•杨格(1876—1929)l 928年在英国科学促进协会F分部主席的就职演说。这篇论文之所以非常著名,是因为它提供了一条与马歇尔不同的发展古典经济学思想的思路。然而,正如西奥多•W•舒尔茨所指出的:“令人不解的是在场格精辟的文章之后,经济学界竞对这个问题长期保持沉默。”50年代以后,它对经济发展理论产生了很重要的影响。

  报酬递增理论最早可以追溯到亚当·斯密国富论。斯密从企业的角度说明了报酬递增产生的过程,并提出了劳动分工市场范围限制定理,即生产力的劳动分工是财富增长的主要原因,而新的劳动分工取决于市场的扩大。两者结合起来形成了凭借持续引进新的分工而自我维持的增长理论。斯密的报酬递增理论体现在两个层次:

  其一是微观层次的劳动分工。“劳动生产力上最大的增进,以及运用劳动时历表现的更大的熟练、技巧和判断力,似乎都是分工的结果。其中技术变迁以分工加速知识积累的形成,成为报酬递增永不枯竭的源泉。

  其二是宏观层次的分工因果累积。分工既是经济进步的原因又是其结果,这个因果累积的过程体现出的就是报酬递增机制。分工累积以及以知识积累体现的技术变迁都属于动态范畴,必然导致垄断的出现,其与静态的竞争均衡是不相容的。这正是斯密定理的两难困境之所在。

  阿尔弗雷德·马歇尔(Alfred Marshall)对斯密定理两难困境和报酬递增的处理,关键是提出了外部经济的概念。马歇尔认为,“可把因任何一种产品的生产规模之扩大而发生的经济分为两类,第一类取决于产业的一般发展;第二类经济取决于从事工商业的单个企业的资源,它们的组织以及它们的效率。”他把前者称为外部经济,后者称为内部经济。由于他意识到内部经济的差异将瓦解竞争均衡,所以假想不论任何时候,该厂都享有所属工业生产总规模所具有的内部经济和外部经济的平均份额,其结果外部经济的自然增长成为报酬递增的唯一源泉,即产业的规模扩大决定于整个工业生产总量的增加,一个厂商的规模扩大取决于产业的发展。

  杨格认为,马歇尔的这种区分至少在以下两个不同的方面至今是有用的。

  首先,它防止了或应该防止一种普遍的错误,即报酬递增发生作用的地方必然导致实际的垄断趋势。

  其次:它简化了对在报酬递增情况下所生产商品价格决定方式的分析。

  但是,从内部经济和外部经济的区分中来考察产业进步过程的性质必然带有片面性。产业进步过程的某些方面得到了阐释,但由于某种原因,与其他问题相关的某些重要方面是不清楚的。比如,某些生产原料和设备的企业的内部经济可以看作是其他企业的外部经济,但是,不能把所有独立的企业的内部经济加在一起,就把所有的经济称之为外部经济。当我们考察某个企业的内部经济时,我们会设想一个比较稳定的状态。这家企业象其他竞争者一样,年复一年制造某种产品或某一组产品,或者说从事为生产某种最终产品所需要的某种中间阶段的作业。它的经营不断适应产出的增加而发生变化,但是又受到确定的范围的约束。但是,外部环境中,新产品不断出现,企业面临着新的任务,新的产业正在诞生。简言之,外部领域既有质的变化,又有量的变化。试图从个别企业的成本和这个企业产品的价格中来研究报酬递增,对研究这个领域来说是徒劳无益的。

  阿林•杨格在斯密劳动分工思想的基础上提出了迂回生产和社会收益递增概念。杨格认为最重要的分工形式是生产迂回程度的加强及新行业的出现。他指出,分工使一组复杂的过程转化为相继完成的简单过程,其中某些过程终于导致机器的采用。在使用机器,采用间接过程时,分工进一步发展了,后者从经济角度看又受到市场范围的限制。为敲打一个铁钉而制造一把铁锤是浪费的,还不如使用手边任何拙笨的工具。为制造一百辆汽车而装备具有夹具、量具、机床、钻床、锻床和传送带等优良设备的工厂是不经济的,不如大部分使用标准的工具和机器,更多地使用直接劳动,较少地使用间接劳动。杨格强调了两点:

  第一点,表现为报酬递增的主要经济是生产的资本化或迂回方法的经济。这些经济又主要与现代形式的劳动分工的经济相等同。

  第二点,迂回方法的经济,比其他形式的劳动分工的经济更多地取决于市场的规模。没有人能怀疑在“筒单化和标准化”方面所取得的卓越的经济,而要取得这些经济,就必须根除某些根深蒂固的竞争浪费,为了实现这一目的,就必须集中力量。

  杨格的第二点谈到了报酬递增加何反映在产业活动的组织变迁中的问题。他指出,现在人们谈论较多的是产业的一体化,认为它是工业产出增加的伴侣或自然结果。但是,与此相反的过程即产业的分化现在和将来仍然是与生产增长相联系的典型的变化类型。值得注意的是,因为生活设施日益复杂化,如消费品市场上所提供的产品日益多样化所显示的那样,所以,中间产品以及制造某种产品和某类产品的产业的分化也在发展。例如,早期印刷者的继承者今天不只是拥有某一企业的印刷者,而且也包括木浆的生产者、各种纸张的生产者、油墨及其不同配料的生产者、字模金属和字模的生产者,制作插图和掌握各种制版技术的产业集团,印刷业及其辅助工业所需工具和机器的制造者。在大部分工业领域中,在原料生产者和最终产品消费者之间所插入的专业化企业的网络越来越复杂。随着产业间劳动分工的扩大,一个企业以及它作为部分构成的产业,失去了其统一性。这个企业内部经济分解成为专业化程度更高的各个企业的内部经济和外部经济。这种分解是对工业最终产品市场的增长所创造的新形势的调整,因而,产业间的分工是报酬递增的媒介。这种形式的变化,不仅对充分发挥资本化的生产方式纳优势有重要作用(虽然这是主要的),而且可以发挥并不依赖于技术变化的某些自身的优势。

  最后,杨格谈到,在概述亚当•斯密原理的这些变化时,必须强调以下三点。首先,通过观察个别企业和个别产业的规模的变化效应,是弄不清楚报酬递增机制的,因为,产业的不断分工和专业化是报酬递增得以实现的过程的一个基本组成部分。必须把产业经营看作是相互联系的整体。其次,报酬递增取决于劳动分工的发展,现代形式的劳动分工的主要经济,是以迂回或间接方式使用劳动所取得的经济。第三,劳动分工取决于市场规模,而市场规模又取决于劳动分工。经济进步的可能性就存在于上述条件中,人们除了获取新知识,取得进步外,也可以取得这种经济进步的可能性,不论他们所追求的是经济利益或非经济的利益。

  杨格的理论对四、五十年代的早期发展经济学思想的形成产生了巨大的影响。例如,杨格的论文给罗森斯坦-罗丹的《东南欧国家的工业化问题》(1943)打上了深深烙印;罗格纳·纳克斯Ragnar Nurkse)的《不发达国家的资本形成问题》(1952)是以杨格的“循环累积因果原理”为开篇展开讨论的;纲纳·缪达尔Karl Gunnar Myrdal)在《经济理论与不发达地区》(1957)中所提出的地区或国际间的“贫因的恶性循环”理论实际上是杨格思想的翻版。舒尔茨对杨格的思想推崇备至,并在《为实现收益递增进行的专业化人力资本投资》(1986)中发展了杨格的理论。总之,杨格理论对后来经济理论的发展起了重要的作用。

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

参考文献

  1. 读《报酬递增与经济进步》
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