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制度的文化合理性 及秦晓文章  

2007-10-15 18:59:52|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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子俊的消息最快,刚才查阅了诺贝尔网站,确实,2007年10月15日发布,今年的经济学奖由三位机制设计理论家获得:

The prize was awarded jointly to: LEONID HURWICZ  ERIC S. MASKIN  ROGER B. MYERSON for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory. 附件是诺贝尔委员会整理的“机制设计理论”。顺便提及,根据2007年6月 Philip Mirowski 发表的回顾性文章,近年来经济学理论研究显著地转向这样一些领域——机制设计、微观市场结构、零智能代理人仿真、经济工程学、人工智能与市场设计。

 
制度的文化合理性
《财经》学术顾问 汪丁丁
《财经》杂志 /总196期  [2007-10-15]
 


  这是一套古老的道理,芝加哥经济学派公认的思想导师奈特表述得最清晰:首先,制度与人性,它们构成“对立的同一”。其次,制度与人性,只要是真实的,必定源自本土的而不是外来的文化传统。第三,制度与人性都是演化的而不是静止的,都是“历史的”形态而不仅仅是“逻辑的”概念。
  这里所论的“制度”,特别要区分于18世纪苏格兰启蒙思想家们,诸如哈奇森和斯密所论的“秩序”。对斯密而言,秩序不能被人类设计,但可以被逐渐地发现。另一方面,领导着“市场设计”学派的米尔格罗姆,坚信世界上没有不经过人的努力和设计而变得有效率的市场机制。持中论者,诺贝尔经济奖得主史密斯则坚信人类心智和人类制度都是“建构理性”与“生态理性”交替运用的结果。此处,“建构理性”就是哈耶克和波普严厉批判过的那种出于人的狂妄态度的理性,“生态理性”就是哈耶克和波普努力鼓吹过的那种生长于特定文化传统之内并尊重自身传统的人的理性。
  秦晓在这篇文章里试图刻画的,是某种基于普世原则但并非西方模式的“中国的”现代化方式。这一思路可从史密斯教授的观点获得源自西方学术思想传统的支持。
  制度的合理性,在启蒙理性的或“物竞天择”的标准之上,还有文化的标准。任何一套制度的“文化合理性”是以生活在特定文化传统之内的人的心灵能够因适应这套制度而感受到的幸福的程度为标准的。就身形的利益而言,人类有普世的原则。可是就心灵的幸福而言,人类因时因地而积累了不可忽视的文化差异。文化差异越重要,制度的文化合理性也就越重要。
  就不同的人群而言,以不同文化的语言表达的“自由”、“正义”、“效率”,这三大幸福要素,已被人类社会演化史表明是普世价值,因为对“幸福”的追求是普世的。但是,这三项普世价值的重要性排序可因文化传统的差异而有重大差异。所谓“社会选择”过程,就是在千差万别的价值排序的基础上寻求“合理的”制度安排。也因此,“合理的”制度的第一前提就是它应当允许每一个人自由地参与政治讨论——即自由参与关于什么是合理的制度安排的讨论。
  一个社会在何种程度上能够认真对待每一社会成员自由参与政治讨论的权利,它就能在何种程度上让最具代表性的价值排序呈现出来从而找到最具文化合理性的制度安排。■

  (全文详见《财经》网络版www.caijing.com.cn“观点评述”栏目)

“中国现代性方案”求解
秦晓(招商局集团董事长、中共十七大代表)《财经》杂志 /总196期  [2007-10-15]
 上世纪70年代末,中国选择先经济后政治改革的政策,证明是正确的,它首先解决了人民基本生活的改善。在经济体制改革中,采用“摸着石头过河”的渐进方式,也证明是成功的。但如果由此认为中国可以在一个集权政体下实现现代性转型,则是错误的

上世纪70年代末,中国选择先经济后政治改革的政策,证明是正确的,它首先解决了人民基本生活的改善。在经济体制改革中,采用“摸着石头过河”的渐进方式,也证明是成功的。但如果由此认为中国可以在一个集权政体下实现现代性转型,则是错误的

  在近30年,中国在一个相对集权的政治体制下,成功地启动和实施了从计划向市场体制的转轨,保持了近10%的年经济增长率。人民的福祉极大地改善,国家的经济实力也发生了根本的改变。在这一进程中,也出现了西方资本主义国家早期工业化过程中的弊端和现代资本主义社会的病态。前者如贫富、地区差距拉大,官商勾结、腐败滋生,道德失范、信用破坏,环境生态恶化、资源浪费等,后者主要表现为人的精神世界的孤独和异化、人际关系的紧张、人与自然的冲突等。中国经济增长的故事成为人类经济史上的一个奇迹,对西方主流现代化理论却是一个难解的谜;中国在发展中显现的问题又使人们对中国所走的道路、选择的模式产生了怀疑和担忧。
  西方主流现代化理论认为,以18世纪启蒙运动思想家倡导的自由、理性为核心价值观,以自由主义思想和现代民主政体、自由市场经济和资本主义工业体系、民族国家为代表的欧洲、北美的现代文明秩序,在全球具有普遍意义。以这个标准来判定,中国模式所创造的经济奇迹并非真正意义上的现代性社会转型。经济发展和社会变革必然诱发民众对自由、民主的诉求,这就需要一个对现代理念予以认同,对各种主张有较大包容性、对各种利益群体有较强协调能力的政体。这一政体的正当性就是现代民主制度。在经济发展、社会变革过程中,从传统的集权政体向现代民主政体的转型是不可避免的,其转型的路径无非是自上而下的改革或自下而上的解体。因此,在通向现代化的道路上,不存在一个区别于欧洲、北美模式的所谓中国模式。中国现代化进程是否能够持续、社会转型是否能够实现,取决于现代核心价值观的建立和政治体制的改革。
  与主流观点对立的,是被称为“新左派”的思想主张。它们认为现代化并不意味着西方化,或者说世界上不存在一个惟一的现代化道路和模式。现代化道路和模式的选择首先要基于本土的文化、历史传统,同时还受到不同历史时期外部环境、人们的价值观、道德观的约束(比如在当代重复西方殖民地掠夺、侵略战争的方式是不可能的)。Joshua Cooper Rama所著《北京共识》是“新左派”观点的代表作。他们认为中国选择了不同于“华盛顿共识”的现代化模式,是一个正确的选择,它不仅适用于中国国情,而且可以避免西方现代化过程出现的种种弊端和病态。因而它不仅是“另类现代性”,而且表现出对“新的现代性”的追求。
  在两种对立观点之间还有各种思想流派,其中有一定影响的有:后现代主义对西方现代性的解构和批判;民族主义对以美国为代表的西方霸权扼制中国发展的反抗和对西方现代化思想和制度的排斥;新儒家寻求传统文化现代价值的努力。
  综上所述,对中国模式及其未来走向的认识,是一个未解的谜,是一个颇具争议的问题。因此,通过研究、沟通加深理解,形成共识对中国和全球都具有重要意义。
  对此问题,我的基本观点可以概括为以下三点:
  ——启蒙运动倡导的理性、自由是现代性的核心价值观,具有普世的意义。中国自晚清开始的现代性转向,由于种种主观和客观原因(前者包括强大的封建传统思想和集权的制度、执政者为维系统治的利益驱动,后者包括西方列强对中国的侵略、扼制),未能经历一次较为彻底的思想启蒙运动。自由和理性作为核心的价值观,在中国从来就没有真正建立起来。现代性对中国来说就等同于民族独立、民富国强、现代化,这就是中国模式产生的历史、政治和文化背景。
  我们把自由、理性作为普世的核心价值观,并不意味着完全认同西方主流派对这两个概念的认识和理解。首先,自由与秩序是不可分离的,两者互为依存、互为约束。没有秩序的自由不仅自身难以存在,也不是人类所追求的理想状态。其次,个人自由也要与集体(家庭、组织、社会、民族)、与大自然相和谐,因为人不可能独立于集体、大自然而存在。西方文明中更注重个人自由,东方文明则更注重社会秩序,以及人与集体、大自然的和谐。同理,理性与理想(信仰)、民主与法治、权利与义务、制衡与效率也是互为依存、互为约束,对上述概念的认识和理解上,东西方也存在着差异。中国在建立现代性核心价值观时,应充分吸取传统文化的养分。
  ——西方建立的现代化模式为人类文明做出了贡献,它也属于全人类。尽管它存在种种弊端和病态,但把它冠以资本主义的属性并将其妖魔化是愚昧、落后、思想僵化的表现。邓小平说:“计划和市场都是配置资源的方式,不能说计划是社会主义的,市场是资本主义的,资本主义可以搞计划,社会主义也可以搞市场。”这句话为中国冲破意识形态束缚、走向市场经济产生了重要的作用。那么,为什么我们不能说西方现代文明秩序,包括它的政体是人类文明的成果,资本主义国家可以采用,社会主义国家同样也可以采用?
  当然,对西方政体的肯定,并不意味着这是惟一的模式,我赞同“另类现代性”或“多元现代性”“现代性本土化”的观点。政体所要解决的问题是通过一系列制度安排,使民众能够最大限度地监督、约束执政者,以实现他们的诉求,保障他们的权益,这就是民主的含义。但是民众中不同群体、阶层的利益和诉求是不同的,有时甚至是对立、冲突的,民众的短期利益和长远利益也往往不一致,政府的角色就是依据法律和民主程序协调不同群体的利益,平衡民众的短期和长期利益。因此,政体模式的制衡和效率也是互为依存、互为约束的,只能在两者中寻求平衡点。中国作为一个有13亿人口的发展中国家,在工业化和社会转型过程中,各种矛盾凸显,需要一个比较强势的政府去协调、解决,在制衡和效率两者之间,应略侧重效率。当然,对目前集权政体的改革首先要解决的是制衡。
  ——如果说在现代核心价值观、现代文明秩序两个问题上,中国与西方是普遍性基础上的特殊性差异,那么在路径选择上,西方现代化的道路并不具备普遍性,中国只有另辟蹊径。上世纪70年代末,中国选择先经济后政治改革的政策,证明是正确的,它首先解决了人民基本生活的改善。在经济体制改革中,采用“摸着石头过河”的渐进方式,也证明是成功的。但如果由此认为中国可以在一个集权政体下实现现代性转型,则是错误的。
  我以为中国的政体改革应考虑四个问题:一是要有一次比较彻底的思想启蒙运动,以解除意识形态的束缚,真正建立起现代核心价值观;二是克服利益集团的干扰,政治领袖和社会精英应承担起推动民族现代性转型的重任;三是中国已形成二元结构,即内地贫穷、落后的9亿人与沿海有较高教育水平、有较高收入和国际联系的3亿多人,他们所面临的问题、诉求有较大差异,政体改革进程的推进要兼顾到这两个群体,进程过快会偏离9亿人的现实利益,过慢则会引发3亿人的不满;四是应充分吸取经济体制改革中“摸着石头过河”的经验,循序渐进,由易到难,尽可能地避免大的动荡,力求实现软着陆。
  哈贝马斯(J. Habermas)把18世纪启蒙思想家的主张称为“现代性方案”,他认为这是一个未完成的方案,西方形成的现代文明秩序是一个需要医治和修补的制度。对中国来说,现代性转型已跨越了三个世纪,走过了100多年的历程。回顾历史、展望未来,我们应当认识到中国的“现代性方案”也是一个未完成的方案,是一个需要对现代核心价值观、对未来模式和路径重新认识、定位的历史使命,是一个决定中国未来走向的、不可逾越的现实问题,是一个可能对人类“现代性方案”做出贡献的愿景。■

  作者为招商局集团董事长、中共十七大代表
 
Scientific background on
the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2007
Mechanism Design Theory
Compiled by the Prize Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
 
 
1 Introduction
Economic transactions take place in markets, within firms and under a host of other
institutional arrangements. Some markets are free of government intervention while
others are regulated. Within firms, some transactions are guided by market prices,
some are negotiated, and yet others are dictated by management. Mechanism design
theory provides a coherent framework for analyzing this great variety of institutions, or
“allocation mechanisms”, with a focus on the problems associated with incentives and
private information.
Markets, or market-like institutions, often allocate goods and services efficiently.
Long ago, economists theoretically proved this efficiency under fairly stringent assumptions
concerning, among other things, the nature of the goods to be produced and
traded, participants’ information about these, and the degree of competition. Mechanism
design theory allows researchers to systematically analyze and compare a broad
variety of institutions under less stringent assumptions. By using game theory, mechanism
design can go beyond the classical approach, and, for example, explicitly model
how prices are set. In some cases, the game-theoretic approach has led to a new appreciation
of the market mechanism. The theory shows, for example, that so-called double
auctions (where buyers and sellers post their bid- and ask-prices) can be efficient trading
institutions when each trader has private information about his or her valuations of
the goods traded. As the number of traders increases, the double-auction mechanism
will more and more efficiently aggregate privately held information, and eventually all
information is reflected by the equilibrium prices (Wilson, 1985). These results support
Friedrich Hayek’s (1945) argument that markets efficiently aggregate relevant private
information.
Mechanism design theory shows which mechanisms are optimal for different participants,
say sellers or buyers (e.g. Samuelson, 1984). Such insights have been used to
better understand market mechanisms that we frequently observe. For example, the
theory has been used to identify conditions under which commonly observed auction
forms maximize the seller’s expected revenue (Harris and Raviv, 1981; Myerson, 1981;
Riley and Samuelson, 1981). The theory also admits detailed characterizations of optimal
auction forms when these conditions do not hold (Myerson, 1981; Maskin and Riley,
1984a). Likewise, mechanism design theory has enabled economists to find solutions
to the monopoly pricing problem, showing, for example, how the price should depend
on quality and quantity so as to maximize the seller’s expected revenue (Maskin and
Riley, 1984b). Again, the theoretical solution squares well with observed practice.
In some cases, no market mechanism can ensure a fully efficient allocation of resources.
In such cases, mechanism design theory can be used to identify other, more
efficient institutions. A classic example concerns public goods, such as clean air or national security. Paul Samuelson (1954) conjectured that no resource allocation mechanism
can ensure a fully efficient level of public goods, because “it is in the selfish interest of each person to give false signals, to pretend to have less interest in a given collective activity than he really has...” (page 388 op. cit.). Mechanism design theory permits a precise analysis of Samuelson’s conjecture. More generally, the theory can be used to analyze the economic efficiency of alternative institutions for the provision of public goods, ranging from markets and consensual collective decision-making through majoritarian
decision rules all the way to dictatorship. An important insight is that consensual
decision-making is frequently incompatible with economic efficiency. The theory thus
helps to justify governmental financing of public goods through taxation. Applications
of mechanism design theory have led to breakthroughs in a number of other areas of
economics as well, including regulation, corporate finance, and the theory of taxation.
The development of mechanism design theory began with the work of Leonid Hurwicz
(1960). He defined a mechanism as a communication system in which participants
send messages to each other and/or to a “message center,” and where a pre-specified
rule assigns an outcome (such as an allocation of goods and services) for every collection
of received messages. Within this framework, markets and market-like institutions
could be compared with a vast array of alternative institutions. Initially, much of the
interest focussed on the informational and computational costs of mechanisms, while
abstracting from the problem of incentives. An important contribution was Marshak
and Radner’s (1972) theory of teams, which inspired much subsequent literature (e.g.
Groves, 1973). However, in many situations, providing incentives to the participating
agents is an important part of the problem. Mechanism design theory became relevant
for a wide variety of applications only after Hurwicz (1972) introduced the key notion
of incentive-compatibility, which allows the analysis to incorporate the incentives of
self-interested participants. In particular, it enables a rigorous analysis of economies
where agents are self-interested and have relevant private information.
In the 1970s, the formulation of the so-called revelation principle and the development
of implementation theory led to great advances in the theory of mechanism
design. The revelation principle is an insight that greatly simplifies the analysis of
mechanism design problems. In force of this principle, the researcher, when searching
for the best possible mechanism to solve a given allocation problem, can restrict attention
to a small subclass of mechanisms, so-called direct mechanisms. While direct
mechanisms are not intended as descriptions of real-world institutions, their mathematical
structure makes them relatively easy to analyze. Optimization over the set of all
direct mechanisms for a given allocation problem is a well-defined mathematical task,
and once an optimal direct mechanism has been found, the researcher can “translate
back” that mechanism to a more realistic mechanism. By this seemingly roundabout
method, researchers have been able to solve problems of institutional design that would
otherwise have been effectively intractable. The first version of the revelation principle
was formulated by Gibbard (1973). Several researchers independently extended it to
the general notion of Bayesian Nash equilibrium (Dasgupta, Hammond and Maskin,
1979, Harris and Townsend, 1981, Holmstrom, 1977, Myerson, 1979, Rosenthal, 1978).
Roger Myerson (1979, 1982, 1986) developed the principle in its greatest generality and
pioneered its application to important areas such as regulation (Baron and Myerson,
1982) and auction theory (Myerson, 1981).
The revelation principle is extremely useful. However, it does not address the issue
of multiple equilibria. That is, although an optimal outcome may be achieved in one
equilibrium, other, sub-optimal, equilibria may also exist. There is, then, the danger
that the participants might end up playing such a sub-optimal equilibrium. Can a
mechanism be designed so that all its equilibria are optimal? The first general solution
to this problem was given by Eric Maskin (1977). The resulting theory, known as
implementation theory, is a key part of modern mechanism design.
The remainder of this survey is organized as follows. Section 2 presents key concepts
and results, Section 3 discusses applications, and Section 4 concludes.
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