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“人海战术”的中国GDP  

2011-02-23 07:47:35|  分类: 眺望神州 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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“人海战术”的中国GDP                                              消息来源:华尔街日报

中国作为世界第二大经济体的崛起凸显了后工业化时代的一个现实:决定一国经济实力的不仅有生产力,还有人口数量。

  自工业革命以来,情况并非一直如此。在美国、英国、德国和日本,工人的生产力不仅造就了国家的富裕,还让这些国家成为世界上最大的经济体,尽管这些国家的人口数量比中国和印度小得多。

  中国过去30年的快速增长已经让数亿中国人脱贫,也让中国变成了世界工厂。但据国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund,简称IMF)估计,中国的人均GDP只有4300美元。这很大程度上是因为中国在迈向顶级经济大国的过程中有着13亿人口。本周一,当日本公布2010年GDP数据的时候,中国有望正式超过日本。

  简单算一算吧:中国的人口是日本的11倍,所以尽管中国的人均收入只有日本的十分之一,但却足以让中国的GDP总量超越日本。

  中国想要超越美国,中国只要将人均GDP提升至略多于美国四分之一的水平就行了,因为美国的人口只有中国的四分之一。目前,中国的人均收入是美国的十一分之一。

  在汇丰银行(HSBC)驻香港的分析师屈宏斌看来,这是第一次出现一种很奇怪的现象:一方面,中国是世界第二大经济体,但中国也是世界上最穷的几个国家之一。

  中国最终能否超过美国,取决于中国在多长时间内能继续保持比美国更快的增长速度。华盛顿智库彼得森国际经济研究所(Peterson Institute for International Economics)的经济学家萨伯拉曼尼安(Arvind Subramanian)估计2025年后这有可能实现,但其他人相对谨慎。哈佛大学经济学家罗戈夫(Kenneth Rogoff)说,这很难预测,因为许多贫困国家在发展过程中往往因为银行危机等问题受阻。比如,上世纪80年代许多经济学家估计日本将超过美国。但自90年代以来,由于经济停滞不前,日本已经大大落后于美国。

  对于贫困国家来说,想要挤进世界经济大国的行列是非常困难的。IMF将33个国家列为“发达国家”,其中只有四个非欧洲经济体在一战前比较贫困,分别是新加坡、韩国、台湾和香港。还有一个国家以色列在1914年还未建国。

  曾经被认为是发达国家的阿根廷由于几十年来在经济和政治上的管理不善,地位已然滑落。

  IMF将七个国家列为主要发达经济体,分别是美国、加拿大、英国、德国、法国、意大利和日本。这意味着从人均指标衡量,这些都是富裕国家,也是重要经济体。不过这些国家在一战前就已经有这样的地位了。

  中国被列为“新兴和发展中”国家,再一次反映了中国的双重身份:以人均指标衡量,中国是一个贫困国家;以经济总量衡量,中国是一个富裕国家。

  工业革命首先将欧洲国家推入世界经济大国的行列,随后日本也加入了这一阵营。它们通过殖民中国、印度和亚非的其它国家掠夺资源、劳动力和市场,并累积财富。

  在罗戈夫看来,如果你是经济总量最大,实力最强的经济体,但你不是最富裕的国家,那么你会通过侵略别国并掠夺财富来改变这一现状。

  研究美国史的历史学家布兰兹(H.W. Brands)说,接近19世纪末的时候,英国和德国是世界最大的经济体。但到1900年,随着美国更多的人口、更丰富的自然资源和更先进的工业生产率推动它超越欧洲的单个国家,美国已经成为世界第一。他说,经济史中的一个西移趋势,以及世界经济重心横跨大西洋、从欧洲转移到美国的过程,曾是一个时髦的研究方向。

  如今,高速增长的亚洲国家正推动这个重心向东转移。虽然可以说中国有很多人依旧贫穷,但它成长为世界第二仍然具有非凡的意义。这是因为中国已经位居世界最大贸易国、债权国和大宗商品市场之列。它的采购和贷款决策影响着全球市场。苏布拉马尼安说,对于新兴超级大国 (crude superpower) 来说,GDP和规模是重要的,它反映出你有什么样的谈判筹码。

  经济大国的座次排名,是将一国GDP按市场汇率折算成美元后设定的。这被认为是最好的指标,因为它反映出一个国家或其公司在国际市场上可以买到多少东西,不管是钢铁还是隐型飞机零部件。

  还有一个叫做购买力平价的GDP指标。按购买力平价计算,就是要经过调整,反映出不同国家商品服务价格的差异。剪一次头发,北京可能是1美元,波士顿是10美元,但如果你比较理发价格在劳动者收入中的比例,这个差距可能就小得多。从实质意义上讲,购买力平价数据是要反映生活成本的差异,这往往会提高贫穷国家的经济排名。据国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund,简称IMF)统计资料,中国按购买力平价计算的GDP在2001年就已经超过日本,成为世界第二。

  苏布拉马尼安计算认为,中国按购买力计算的GDP已经小幅领先美国,但IMF预计这一点要到2016年才能实现。

  纽约大学(New York University)发展经济学家伊斯特利(William Easterly)觉得,所有这些排名都有些荒谬,因为它们只是反映了各国人口规模的不同。他说,如果经济规模大是因为人口规模大,那么你可能会问,为什么这么久才赶上?比较之下,印度的人口接近中国,但它到20世纪90年代早期才因为经济改革而开始追赶富裕国家。

  不过,北京GaveKal Dragonomics Research董事总经理葛艺豪(Arthur Kroeber)说,世界第二的地位在中国国内可能会产生重要的心理效应,因为这里很多人仍旧把自己的国家视为穷国,认为它不需要对国际事务承担多少责任。比如在贸易谈判和国际金融峰会中,中国扮演的常常是边缘角色。一般来讲,美国和西欧仍是全球议程的设置者。

  葛艺豪说,当成为世界第二大国时,你再也不能说中国可以当一个追随者了;从经济外交的角度来说,你是躲不掉的。

  他指出,中国正在越来越多地施展经济实力,具体就是为非洲、拉丁美洲和中亚的基础设施等项目提供资金支持,换取稳定的石油、食品和煤炭来源。

  美国担心中国可能会锁定本应自由买卖的自然资源,因而对部分这类交易存在戒心,但它也在力推IMF和世界银行(World Bank)投票机制的改革,以给予中国更大的发言权。美国官员认为,作为世界第二经济大国,中国应当在全球经济体系的任何改革中发挥重要作用,这样它就会觉得改革的成败关系到自己的利益得失。

“人海战术”的中国GDP - 老虎大叔 - 活在过去

Massive Population Lifts Nation's Growth               By BOB DAVIS

BEIJING—China's rise as the world's second-largest economy highlights a new postindustrial reality: Population counts as much as productivity in determining economic power.

Since the industrial revolution, that hasn't been the case. The productivity of workers in the U.S., Britain, Germany and Japan not only made those countries rich, but it also made them the world's largest economies despite having far smaller populations than China and India.

“人海战术”的中国GDP - 老虎大叔 - 活在过去

College graduates wait to enter a job fair in Yantai, in Shandong province, as police watch over the crowd.

China's rapid growth over the past 30 years has pulled hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty and turned China into the world's factory floor. But China's per capita gross domestic product is still just $4,300, according to the International Monetary Fund. It is largely because of the country's population of 1.3 billion that China is moving to the top ranks of economic powers.

On Monday, it formally surpassed Japan when Japan reported its 2010 GDP.

Look at the arithmetic. China has 11 times Japan's population. That is enough to propel it ahead of Japan in the GDP rankings, despite a per capita income of little more than one-tenth the level of Japan.

For China to leap ahead of the U.S., which has one-fourth China's population, China needs to boost its per capita GDP to slightly more than one-fourth U.S. levels. Currently, China's per capita income is one-eleventh the level of the U.S.

"For the first time, you have this odd combination—one of the world's largest economies is also one of the world's poorest economies," said Qu Hongbin, an HSBC analyst in Hong Kong.

Whether China eventually passes the U.S. depends on how long China can continue growing much more rapidly than the U.S. Arvind Subramanian, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank, figures this will occur around 2030, though others are cautious. Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff said it is tough to predict because many poor countries trip up along the way, often because of banking crises.

In the 1980s, economists predicted Japan would overtake the U.S., but as its economy has stagnated it has fallen further behind the U.S. since 1990.

It is extraordinarily difficult for poor countries to climb into the top ranks of world economic powers. The IMF classifies 33 economies as "advanced." Of those, only four non-European economies—Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong—were poor before World War I. Another, Israel, didn't exist in 1914. One country that would have been considered advanced back then, Argentina, no longer makes the grade because of decades of economic and political mismanagement.

The IMF classifies seven nations as "major" advanced economic powers—the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan—meaning they are rich in per-capita terms and are important economic powers. All would have been on a similar list before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

China is classified as an "emerging and developing" nation—again reflecting its duality as a poor nation when measured in terms of individuals, and a rich one when all those individuals are added together.

The industrial revolution pushed European nations and, somewhat later, Japan to the top of the economic heap. They added to their wealth by colonizing China, India and other nations in Asia and Africa for their resources, labor and markets. "If you were the biggest, strongest economy and you weren't the richest, you'd rectify that by conquering the others and taking their wealth," said Mr. Rogoff.

Toward the end of the 19th century, Britain and Germany were the world's largest economies. But by 1900, the U.S. had become No. 1, said H.W. Brands, a U.S. historian and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, as the country's greater population, natural resources and industrial productivity propelled it ahead of individual European nations. "There was a vogue for thinking in terms of a westering trend in economic history and how the center of gravity of the world economy was moving across the Atlantic from Europe to America," he said.

Now, the fast-growing Asian nations are pushing that center of gravity to the east. China's rise to No. 2 matters a lot, even if many of its people remain poor. That is because it has become one of the world's largest traders, creditors and markets for commodities. Its buying and lending decisions shape markets globally. "GDP and size matters in crude superpower terms," said Mr. Subramanian. "It shows what resources you can bring to the table."

The economic power rankings are determined by converting a country's GDP into dollars at market exchange rates. That is seen as the best indicator, because it suggests what a country or its companies could buy in the international market, whether it is steel or stealth aircraft parts.

There is another GDP measure, called purchasing power parity, or PPP. In that calculation, adjustments are made to reflect the difference in prices for goods and services in different countries. A haircut may cost $1 in Beijing and $10 in Boston, though the differences between the two countries may be much less if you compare the cost of a haircut to a worker's paycheck. Essentially, PPP numbers try to reflect the differences in costs of living and tend to boost the economic rankings of poorer nations. By that measure, China passed Japan as No. 2 in 2001, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. Mr. Subramanian calculates that China's GDP as measured by purchasing power has already edged ahead of the U.S.'s, though the IMF doesn't expect that to happen before 2016.

To William Easterly, a New York University development economist, all the rankings are "a little bit absurd," because they simply reflect the different sizes of the population. "If you have a larger economy because you have a larger population," he said, "you could say, 'Why did it take you so long' " to catch up? By comparison, India, with a population almost as large as China's, has only started gaining on rich countries since the early 1990s, as a result of economic reforms there.

But Arthur Kroeber, managing director of GaveKal Dragonomics Research in Beijing, said the No. 2 ranking may have an important psychological effect in China, where many continue to view the country as poor and believe it bears little responsibility for international affairs. In trade negotiations and international financial summitry, for instance, China often plays a peripheral role. The U.S. and Western Europe generally continue to set the global agenda. "When you're the No. 2 country in the world, you can't make the argument any longer" that China can be a follower, Mr. Kroeber said."From an economic diplomacy standpoint, there's no place to hide."

More and more, China is asserting its economic power, he noted, by agreeing to finance infrastructure and other projects in Africa, Latin America and Central Asia in exchange for a secure stream of oil, food and coal.

Although the U.S. views some of these deals with alarm because it worries that China may lock up natural resources that should be freely traded, it has also been working hard to get the IMF and World Bank to change their voting schemes to give China a larger voice. As the No. 2 economic power, U.S. officials say, China should play a big role in any revamping of the global economic system, so it feels it has a stake in the outcome.                                   FEBRUARY 14, 2011

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