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科技,醒醒(上)

来源:未知  admin  2016-10-11 20:13:42 字体:[ ]

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A second explanation for the Solow paradox, put forward by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (as well as plenty of techno-optimists in Silicon Valley), is that technological advances increase productivity only after a long lag. The past four decades have been a period of gestation for ICT during which processing power exploded and costs tumbled, setting the stage for a truly transformational phase that is only just beginning (signalling the start of the second half of the chessboard). dedecms.com

IF THERE IS a technological revolution in progress, rich economies could be forgiven for wishing it would go away. Workers in America, Europe and Japan have been through a difficult few decades. In the 1970s the blistering growth after the second world war vanished in both Europe and America. In the early 1990s Japan joined the slump, entering a prolonged period of economic stagnation. Brief spells of faster growth in intervening years quickly petered out. The rich world is still trying to shake off the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. And now the digital economy, far from pushing up wages across the board in response to higher productivity, is keeping them flat for the mass of workers while extravagantly rewarding the most talented ones.

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This failure of new technology to boost productivity (apart from a brief period between 1996 and 2004) became known as the Solow paradox. Economists disagree on its causes. Robert Gordon of Northwestern University suggests that recent innovation is simply less impressive than it seems, and certainly not powerful enough to offset the effects of demographic change, inequality and sovereign indebtedness. Progress in ICT, he argues, is less transformative than any of the three major technologies of the second Industrial Revolution (electrification, cars and wireless communications).

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我们似乎很难把这不愉快的景象与卓越的科技进步联系起来,但是同样的事情也曾发生过。大多数的经济历史学家考虑到,自第一次工业革命以来的一个世纪里,英国人的生活水平几乎没有改善。20世纪前叶,随着维多利亚时代的发明例如电灯的普及,生产力发展得也和近几十年一样缓慢。

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Erik Brynjolfsson和Andrew McAfee(以及许多在硅谷对科技抱有乐观态度的人)提出了第二个解释,就是科技进步刺激生产力的效果往往会延迟一段时间。过去的四十年正是消化ICT技术的时期。期间,处理能力的大幅提升和成本的下降,为真正进入应用阶段做足了准备,也预示着战斗才刚刚开始。

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据经济合作和发展组织的统计,在一组具有代表性的发达国家中,英国在1991年至2012年间实际年平均收入只增长了1.5%,www.608bet.com,而美国只有1%,低于同期的经济增长率,更远低于前几十年的水平。其他国家更为糟糕,德国在1992年到2012年间的实际收入增长只有0.6%;而日本和意大利几乎见不到增长。严格来讲,这些平均收入中隐藏着许多变数:大部分劳动者的实际收入持平甚至下降,但极高收入者的收入却在飞涨。

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That may be the wrong place to look for improvements in productivity. The service sector might be more promising. In higher education, for example, the development of online courses could yield a productivity bonanza, allowing one professor to do the work previously done by legions of lecturers. Once an online course has been developed, it can be offered to unlimited numbers of extra students at little extra cost. 内容来自dedecms


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但是,时间似乎不能证明Gordon先生的论点。1939年至2000年美国的经济发展有一个巨大的飞跃,人均出口量平均每年增长2,www.608bet.com.7%。无论是这段时期之前还是之后的比率却都很低:1891年至1939年是1.5%,2000年至2013年是0.9%。并且,随着网络和手机的全面普及,机器智能和机器人技术的快速发展,科技进步的脚步明显加快。而2000年之后产能增长率突然下降,也恰好发生在这个时期。

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一位名叫Robert Solow的经济学家,也就是几个月后的诺贝尔经济学奖获得者,在1987年7月为《纽约客》杂志写了一篇书评。这本书是Stephen Cohen和John Zysman撰写的《后工业时代经济之谜》。该书表达了美国人力资源转向服务业的惋惜,并探寻美国制造业似乎要在全球竞争中输给别国的原因。作者认为其中一个缘由就是美国没能充分利用计算机时代下先进发达的技术,比如日趋成熟的自动化技术以及卓有成效的机器人技术。Solow先生评论到,"一场每个人都能感受到的科技革命,伴随而来的却是生产力的缓慢发展。面对这样的事实,作者同所有人一样都会有点窘迫,www.608bet.com。" 织梦内容管理系统

如果有一场科技革命正在进行,那些发达国家对它敬而远之也有情可原。欧美和日本的劳动者都曾经历过一段困难时期。20世纪70年代,二战后的繁荣景象在欧美消失殆尽。20世纪90年代早期,日本也加入经济衰退的阵营,进入了一段相当长时间的停滞时期。昙花一现般的高速发展接下来很快就枯萎了。发达国家一直尝试摆脱2008年经济危机的影响。而当今的数字经济,远不能应生产力的需求提高全民工资。相反的,广大劳动者工资保持不变的同时少数精英却饱受奖赏。

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That sounds plausible, but for now the productivity statistics do not bear it out. John Fernald, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and perhaps the foremost authority on American productivity figures, earlier this year published a study of productivity growth over the past decade. He found that its slowness had nothing to do with the housing boom and bust, the financial crisis or the recession. Instead, it was concentrated in ICT industries and those that use ICT intensively. 内容来自dedecms

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也许我们应该换个角度来看待产能发展。从服务行业看就更有前景。比如高等教育领域,线上课程的发展有提高生产力的巨大潜力。相同的工作量,一位教授再也不用为了演讲疲于奔波了。线上课程一旦发展,便能用最少的额外投入来服务数量最多的学生。

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听起来似乎有些道理,但现在的数据并不能证实这一点。一位工作在联邦储备银行旧金山支行的经济学家John Fernald,对美国产能数据的掌握可能是最权威的,于今年初发表了对过去十年生产力发展的研究。他发现,生产力发展缓慢跟房价涨跌、金融危机或衰退毫无关系,反倒是和ICT产业以及广泛应用ICT的产业息息相关。 织梦内容管理系统

It seems difficult to square this unhappy experience with the extraordinary technological progress during that period, but the same thing has happened before. Most economic historians reckon there was very little improvement in living standards in Britain in the century after the first Industrial Revolution. And in the early 20th century, as Victorian inventions such as electric lighting came into their own, productivity growth was every bit as slow as it has been in recent decades.

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Between 1991 and 2012 the average annual increase in real wages in Britain was 1.5% and in America 1%, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a club of mostly rich countries. That was less than the rate of economic growth over the period and far less than in earlier decades. Other countries fared even worse. Real wage growth in Germany from 1992 to 2012 was just 0.6%; Italy and Japan saw hardly any increase at all. And, critically, those averages conceal plenty of variation. Real pay for most workers remained flat or even fell, whereas for the highest earners it soared. 织梦好,好织梦

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Yet the timing does not seem to support Mr Gordon’s argument. The big leap in American economic growth took place between 1939 and 2000, when average output per person grew at 2.7% a year. Both before and after that period the rate was a lot lower: 1.5% from 1891 to 1939 and 0.9% from 2000 to 2013. And the dramatic dip in productivity growth after 2000 seems to have coincided with an apparent acceleration in technological advances as the web and smartphones spread everywhere and machine intelligence and robotics made rapid progress. 本文来自织梦

新科技不能促进生产力的现象(除了1996-2004短短几年)被称作”梭罗悖论"。经济学家则不这么认为。西北大学的Robert Goirdon认为近年来的科技创新只是没有看上去那么宏伟,必然还不足以强大到能抵消人口变迁、地区失衡和地方债务带来的影响。他还称ICT的发展,论转换为生产力的能力比不了任何一个第二次工业革命的产物,即电、汽车和无线通信三大科技。 dedecms.com

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In July 1987 Robert Solow, an economist who went on to win the Nobel prize for economics just a few months later, wrote a book review for the New York Times. The book in question, “The Myth of the Post-Industrial Economy”, by Stephen Cohen and John Zysman, lamented the shift of the American workforce into the service sector and explored the reasons why American manufacturing seemed to be losing out to competition from abroad. One problem, the authors reckoned, was that America was failing to take full advantage of the magnificent new technologies of the computing age, such as increasingly sophisticated automation and much-improved robots. Mr Solow commented that the authors, “like everyone else, are somewhat embarrassed by the fact that what everyone feels to have been a technological revolution...has been accompanied everywhere...by a slowdown in productivity growth”.

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