为你洗脑 – 经济学通识

Congrats to my friend 薛兆丰 in publishing his new book “经济学通识:跨十四年的经济观察和分析“.

Here is one of the FREE sample article from “经济学通识” for your enjoyment.

相对优势永不消失
2003年12月22日
一位在攻读理工专业的同学,最近接二连三给我长信,声称自己发现了一个“没学过经济学就能发现、却长期被人忽视的”经济原理。
是的,时不时就会遇上这样的朋友。我以前公司的火头军,业余时间都泡在图书馆,撰写关于修筑连接深圳和珠海的大坝、藉此增加淡水供应的可行性报告。这几年,又有几个说自己创造了什么经济理论体系的找上门来。这些朋友喜欢闭门造车,有锲而不舍的精神。不是说他们的东西必定没有价值,只是机会不高。
回头说那位理工科的同学。我给他回信说:“读到第二行,我就决定不读下去了,因为你说一个国家的相对优势会消失。相对优势是永远不会消失的。为什么?你随便找本教科书琢磨琢磨,把自己的理解,用一百字写出来再说吧。”
他没理会,继续长篇大论。我倒是出于好奇,自己试了一下,把自己所理解的相对优势原理写出来。果然一百字就够了,没有为难他。是这样:“每个人的资源和时间有限,用来生产此,就不能生产彼。‘顾此’的成本就是‘失彼’;选择‘失彼’最小的‘顾此’,就是这个人的相对优势。由于这始终是自己跟自己比的结果,所以任何人都永远具有相对优势。”
这是说,没有人会在每一种工作上都是成本最高或成本最低的。想来真奇妙:即使别人样样都比我出色,但只要我跟他共处,只要我们有交换的自由,那么我就不可能一无是处。换言之,只要我从事与自己相比成本较低的工作,然后与他交换,那么双方就都会得益。
成本的概念是要点。成本就是放弃了的最好机会。即使盖茨写程序比我快,做饭也比我香,但只要我跟他住一屋,他就会让我做饭(尽管没他做得香)。并不是因为我做饭比他好,而是因为他做饭的成本是放弃了的程序——他做饭的成本比我的高得多。

编辑推荐

新锐经济学家,中国十大青年领袖之一,薛兆丰为你洗脑。

内容简介

本书的读者,每个人都有自己的一摊事情,自己的一番经历;各有各的专长,各有各的骄傲;但是,他们还保持着思考的习惯,愿意接触各种观点,改善自己的判断。他们不轻易冒险,但也不愿随波逐流;他们的思想更多来自报章杂志,但仍然没有丧失智力上的品味;他们尊重专家和权威,却依然偏爱简洁的文字和明快的思想。他们对经济学感兴趣,但不至于想要阅读此起彼伏的方程式。一句话,本书读者是有教养的门外汉。
书中文章的行文,力求清楚明确。错字错句,用词不当,虽然难以杜绝,但都不是故意的。虽然清楚的文章写得吃力,但含混的文章没有价值,因为写得不清不楚的文章,别人也无从明确地指出它的错处!

作者简介

薛兆丰,经济学者,美国西北大学法学院(Northwestern University School of Law)博士后研究员,北京大学“法律经济学研究中心”研究员,美国乔治·梅森大学(George Mason University)经济学博士。曾在梅森大学讲授“法与经济学”课程,并在国内发表过数百篇经济评论和文章,持续影响了读者对市场经济的认识。2002年出版《经济学的争议》,2006年被《南方人物周刊》评为中国十大青年领袖,2008年出版《商业无边界——反垄断法的经济学革命》。

12 Responses to 为你洗脑 – 经济学通识

  1. hevangel says:

    不。相對優勢是會消失的﹗如果一個地方是負生產力﹐則生產不足以扺賞最低生存所需消耗﹐那就沒有任何相對優勢了﹐可以想像沒有天然資源又戰亂又愛滋又天災又飢荒的非洲小國。

  2. hevangel says:

    哈~ 一百字以內﹐解釋了相對優勢為什麼會消失。唔該forward俾你個friend﹐睇睇佢有乜野講。

  3. hevangel says:

    又或者學術點說﹐交易成本比生產力高時﹐相對優勢便不存在了。

  4. kempton says:

    Ha ha,

    Horace, you are fast with your comments!

    Since you are in Hong Kong (still?), why not pick up a copy of 兆丰’s book? I think you will have a ton of fun reading it. :) You can order the book online too.

    I don’t get any commission from 兆丰, even though I should. And he will *HAVE TO* agree. :)

    P.S. I’ve forwarded 兆丰 your comments. If he decide to reply, I will post his comment. Better, he can reply to your comment right here. :)

  5. hevangel says:

    看了當當那幾篇sample。不是吧。你個friend是經濟學博士﹖他的理論只有大一水準﹐大二的東西已經弄錯了。

  6. hevangel says:

    I am in Bangalore now.

    Honestly, I won’t waste my money on his book. I am not even an econ major, and I am already able spot problems in all his sample articles.

  7. kempton says:

    Horace,

    You are a funny and arrogant (and probably rude) man!

    While I may not agree with every single word or idea of 兆丰, I doubt the “problems” you spotted are “problems”.

    Why don’t you list all the “problems” you “found” in his sample articles?

    I think he wrote those articles to help clarify the minds of people and their common misconceptions.

    Give it a try Horace. Go ahead and list all the “problems” you spotted! May the fun begin.

  8. Wallace says:

    相对优势永不消失 is exactly what 李白 meant by “天生我才有用” Please notice the word 必, MUST!! Even African ones have comparative advantage in areas of unskilled labor. In order to answer Horace, one simply needs to remind him of Hong Kong and South Korea in 1950s, China in 1980s…..places with low education population but were able to take up unskilled jobs.

    如果一個地方是負生產力? What does it mean??

    Wallace

  9. Whatever says:

    仍然有优势。难道负数就没有大小之分?例如向外国输出“人肉白鼠”可以死得慢D甚至安乐D,视乎你是否take the advantage。如果两个地区之间的交易费用无限高,那么这两个地区各自还是有相对优势之别——虽然两个地区之间没有交易,但它们各自的生产仍然会根据其相对优势有所侧重——近海的就捕鱼,近山的就打猎。

  10. hevangel says:

    Wallace, you are still making one assumption, the productivity of the unskilled labor is more than the cost he need to feed himself.

    In most cases, we can assume it’s true, but it is possible some real world scenario violate this assumption.

    Whatever, trade only exists if the trade create value to both parties. You won’t trade if it destroy value. If the cost of trading is higher than the value of the goodies the weaker party produce, why would you trade?

  11. hevangel says:

    Ar… too bad I post my comment (a tuned down version) to your friend’s blog, but he seems just ignore me. I guess it is nature for a famous guy like him simply ignore a small potato like me who don’t worship him like the crowd but instead picking on him.

  12. kempton says:

    Well, just so you know, my comment posted to his website are not displayed too! In fact, if you look at his entries, no comments are displayed. But I am sure he receives the comments and, from time to time, may address some of the comments in a blog post if the topics need further attention.

    Horace my friend, even I don’t respond to all the comments I have in my blog. And I won’t expect Zhaofeng to be able to reply to every message.

    I think you way over-estimated your economics knowledge.

    As far as I know, and I am not saying this because Zhaofeng is my friend, George Mason University is NOT a school that will give a Phd to someone just because they paid the school tuitions. And fundamental concept like “相对优势” is not something I think a George Mason Phd will mess up.

    Horace my friend, I say this because I consider you a friend. I think sometimes your certainty of your perceived knowledge are way more than your “actual knowledge”.

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