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2009诺贝尔经济学奖:出人意料的搭配

kira86 于2009-10-19发布 l 已有人浏览
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Nobel Recognizes Research Into Economic Governance高速下载 This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.Ec
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Nobel Recognizes Research Into Economic Governance


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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

Economists usually study markets. Now, two Americans have won the Nobel Prize in economics for not studying markets.

They will share almost one and a half million dollars for their analysis of economic governance. This is the study of how economic activity is governed within companies, communities and other groups.

The winners are Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University in Bloomington and Oliver Williamson of the University of California, Berkeley. The prize in economic sciences has gone to sixty-three men since it was first awarded forty years ago. Elinor Ostrom is the first woman. And, like other winners over the years, her training is not limited to economics. She is a professor of political science and of public and environmental affairs.

Today, economic theory suggests that good resource management requires ownership, either private or public. If not, the thinking goes, then self-interest will lead to overuse and destruction of shared resources. Ecologist Garrett Hardin described this idea in nineteen sixty-eight as "the tragedy of the commons."

Elinor Ostrom showed how local decision making can lessen the tragedy. Her research has deepened understanding of how people balance their needs with those of others who depend on the same resources.

She studied communities like farmers in Southern California who depended on a common water supply. She documented how people who use resources often develop ways to share them. One example is forest management.

ELINOR OSTROM: "One of the absolutely key, most important variables as to whether or not a forest survives and continues is whether local people monitor each other and its use. Not officials, locals."

Oliver Williamson has studied big companies and found that they often are better than markets at doing complex jobs. Under his theory, businesses act as structures for conflict resolution.

For example, companies that own their suppliers can avoid long-term contracts and disputes over prices. This can make production more efficient and make better use of limited resources.

But businesses can also abuse their power. Professor Williamson says the best way to deal with this is not by limiting the size of companies, but through industry regulation.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said economists need to do more than study markets and prices. The Nobel judges urged more research like the kind they recognized with this year's award.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.

2009年度诺贝尔经济学奖授予美国经济学家埃莉诺·奥斯特罗姆(Elinor Ostrom)和奥利弗·威廉姆森(Oliver Williamson)。这一结果似乎释放出了一个信号,经历全球经济金融危机之后,包括诺奖委员会在内,人们对“有效市场”假说的信心动摇了,转而把目光更多地投向非市场性的经济制度研究。
   
大大提升人们对非市场组织的理解
   
埃莉诺·奥斯特罗姆1933年出生于美国,现任职于美国印第安纳大学。此次获奖,是因为她“对经济治理的分析,尤其是对普通人经济治理活动所做的研究”。她是诺贝尔经济学奖1969年设立以来第一位获此殊荣的女性。奥利弗·威廉姆森1932年出生于美国,现在美国加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校工作,他凭借“对经济治理的分析,特别是对公司的经济治理边界的分析”而获奖。
   
“有效市场”是传统经济学的经典假说之一,而传统的经济学研究基本上都围绕着市场展开,更精确地说,是围绕着市场价格而展开的。但事实表明,市场的有效运行必须依赖于人们制定规范的契约并且真正执行契约;而且即便如此,市场也经常出现无法正常运行的情况。此外,有很多经济活动是在市场之外发生的,比如在家里、在公司、在协会或其他组织……奥斯特罗姆和威廉姆森通过各自的研究,揭示了公司或组织是如何存在和运行的,大大提升了人们对非市场的组织的理解,建立了“经济治理”这一全新的研究领域。

奥斯特罗姆和威廉姆森都聚焦于非市场性的经济制度研究,但两人各有侧重互为补充。威廉姆森的研究重点,是在没有具体契约和法规的情况下,交易如何得以实现;奥斯特罗姆则聚焦在有规则的情况下,规则如何得以执行。
   
“知识融合”开启经济学研究新天地
   
作为“新制度经济学”概念的提出者,威廉姆森早在上世纪七八十年代就凭自己的著作等身和卓越成就蜚声国际经济学界。在同为新制度经济学研究者的复旦大学教授张军看来,威廉姆森的“产业组织理论”介于企业理论与合同理论之间,与科斯和诺斯的理论不尽相同。近年曾在威廉姆森手下学习研究了一年半的暨南大学教授刘汉民则介绍说,威廉姆森思想活跃,熟谙企业组织的运行,其影响早已经波及管理学、法学、政治学等领域。

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