4月的第二个周末，一群非常杰出的经济学家汇聚一堂，参加 了由乔治•索罗斯(George Soros)倡议的新经济思维研究所(Institute for New Economic Thinking)创立大会。面对最近这场危机中经济学的失败之处，他们扪心自问。失败在两个领域最为明显：现代金融经济学的基石——有效市场假说的失 效，以及近代宏观经济学理论的无用。
有效市场假说的核心思想是，价格是估算资产潜在价值的最佳表现形式。这个论点最近遭遇重创。美国房地产 泡沫促成了货币市场的繁荣与萧条。在泡沫之前，“新经济”一败涂地，而长期资本管理公司(Long-Term Capital Management)也几近崩溃，这家对冲基金从一开始就是金融经济学复杂性的最佳例证。
近 期的经济政策激辩不仅在很大程度上忽视了动态随机一般均衡模型，而且与上世纪30年代的经济政策之辩有着惊人的相似之处，尽管最终的解决方式有所不同。被 引用最多的经济学家是约翰•梅纳德•凯恩斯(John Maynard Keynes)和海曼•明斯基(Hyman Minsky)，两者都已去世。
无论是有效市场假设还是动态随机 一般均衡模型，都与理性预期的概念有关——大概可以如下描述这个概念，即家庭和企业在做经济决定时仿佛掌握着关于这个世界的一切可知信息。如果你纳闷为何 这样一种难以置信的理念会被普遍接受，部分原因在于它的保守含义。根据理性预期理论，公司和家庭不仅与决策者知道的一样多，而且还能预料到政府的行动，因 此政府做到最好也不过是维持自身的可预测性。大多数经济政策都是无效的。
自由市场中的大部分干预手段亦是如此。有人认为那些购买次贷或基于 次贷的证券化产品的人之所以这么做是因为掌握的信息比卖家少，这种观点是没有存在空间的。当高盛(Goldman Sachs)的男男女女做着“上帝的工作”时，他们赚得的利润并非来自信息优势，而是他们服务的价值。政府在经济中扮演的角色是保证市场运转。
这 些理论的吸引力远远超越了富人和保守派阶层，其中有着更深层次的原因。如果说有一种简单的、单一的、放诸四海而皆准的经济行为学理论，那么由理性预期、有 效市场假说和动态随机一般均衡模型所组成的那一套论点就是那种理论。任何其他描述这个世界的方式都必须认识到人们的行动由他们的信念和感知（难免会出错） 所决定，必须承认一切皆无定数，必须适应行动对于不断变化的社会及文化准则的依赖。这样一来，经济模型就无法放诸四海而皆准：它们必须因地制宜。
标 准方法有着科学的外表，因为它能根据少数几种原理得出清晰的预测。但这只是表象而已，因为这些预测往往是错误的。在投资者和决策者所面对的真实环境中，行 动确实取决于信念和感知、必须应对不确定性、也是社会背景的产物。没有什么放诸四海而皆准的经济理论，而新经济思维必然应该是兼收并蓄的。这种见解就是凯 恩斯最伟大的遗产。
Economics may be dismal, but it is not a science
A remarkably distinguished group of economists gathered last weekend for the inaugural conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, an initiative of George Soros. They were soul searching over the failures of economics in the recent crisis. Such failures are most evident in two areas: the inadequacies of the efficient market hypothesis, the bedrock of modern financial economics, and the irrelevance of recent macroeconomic theory.
The central idea of the efficient market hypothesis is that prices represent the best estimate of the underlying value of assets. This thesis has recently taken a battering. The boom and bust in the money markets was precipitated by a US housing bubble. That bubble followed the New Economy fiasco and was preceded by the near-failure of Long Term Capital Management, a hedge fund designed to showcase sophisticated financial economics.
The macroeconomics taught in advanced economics today is largely based on analysis labelled dynamic stochastic general equilibrium. The unappealing title gives the game away: the theorists are mostly talking to themselves. Their theories proved virtually useless in anticipating the crisis, analysing its development and recommending measures to deal with it.
Recent economic policy debates have not only largely ignored DSGE, but have also been remarkably similar to the economic policy debates of the 1930s, although they have been resolved differently. The economists quoted most often are John Maynard Keynes and Hyman Minsky, both of whom are dead.
Both the efficient market hypothesis and DSGE are associated with the idea of rational expectations - which might be described as the idea that households and companies make economic decisions as if they had available to them all the information about the world that might be available. If you wonder why such an implausible notion has won wide acceptance, part of the explanation lies in its conservative implications. Under rational expectations, not only do firms and households know already as much as policymakers, but they also anticipate what the government itself will do, so the best thing government can do is to remain predictable. Most economic policy is futile.
So is most interference in free markets. There is no room for the notion that people bought subprime mortgages or securitised products based on them because they knew less than the people who sold them. When the men and women of Goldman Sachs perform "God's work", the profits they make come not from information advantages, but from the value of their services. The economic role of government is to keep markets working.
These theories have appeal beyond the ranks of the rich and conservative for a deeper reason. If there were a simple, single, universal theory of economic behaviour, then the suite of arguments comprising rational expectations, efficient markets and DSEG would be that theory. Any other way of describing the world would have to recognise that what people do depends on their fallible beliefs and perceptions, would have to acknowledge uncertainty, and would accommodate the dependence of actions on changing social and cultural norms. Models could not then be universal: they would have to be specific to contexts.
The standard approach has the appearance of science in its ability to generate clear predictions from a small number of axioms. But only the appearance, since these predictions are mostly false. The environment actually faced by investors and economic policymakers is one in which actions do depend on beliefs and perceptions, must deal with uncertainty and are the product of a social context. There is no universal economic theory, and new economic thinking must necessarily be eclectic. That insight is Keynes's greatest legacy.
John Kay is a member of the advisory board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking
說的 跟做的 可能各一套
|Published:||April 21, 2010|
|Paper Released:||March 2010|
|Authors:||Ian Larkin and Stephen Leider|
The use of "non-linear" performance-based incentive contracts is very common in many business environments. The most well-known example is salesperson compensation, though many other types of performance-based pay, including stock options, bonus systems based on defined metrics, and pay based on subjective performance, often exhibit non-linear characteristics. Research has demonstrated that non-linear incentives are highly distortionary because employees manipulate their work in order to maximize their pay. While some scholars have recommended that companies stop using non-linear incentives, little research has been done to investigate the possible benefits of non-linear schemes. In this paper, HBS professor Ian Larkin and Ross School of Business professor Stephen Leider (HBS PhD '09) explore the role that the behavioral bias of overconfidence may play in explaining the prevalence of non-linear incentive schemes. They conclude that the linearity or non-linearity of an incentive system could play an important role in sorting employees according to their level of confidence; in addition, there may be three possible benefits to having overconfident employees. Key concepts include:
- First, overconfidence is valuable for certain job functions; for example, salespeople lose deals much more frequently than they win them, and being overconfident may help them be effective despite the many failures they go through.
- Second, absent non-linear contracts, employers and overconfident employees may have a difficult time agreeing to a compensation scheme in the first place. Non-linear systems allow employers and employees with fundamentally different beliefs form compensation agreements.
- Third, the non-linearity of an incentive system may allow firms to lower their wage bill. A convex scheme, for example, may allow firms to take advantage of overconfident employees' systematic and persistent bias toward believing they will perform well.
- The study confirms recent findings in psychology literature that overconfidence is not an individual trait so much as a trait around a specific task.
Non-linear incentive schemes are commonly used to determine employee pay, despite their distortionary impact. We investigate possible reasons for their widespread use by examining the relationship between convex pay schemes and overconfidence. In a laboratory experiment, subjects chose between a piece rate and a convex pay scheme. We find that overconfident subjects are more likely than others to choose the convex scheme, even when it leads to lower pay. Overconfident subjects also persist in making the mistake despite clear feedback. These results suggest non-linear pay schemes may help companies select and retain overconfident workers, and may reduce the wage bill. 35 pages.
- Full Working Paper Text
- Working Paper Publication Date: March 2010
- HBS Working Paper Number: 10-078
台大有一領袖/領導學程 在圖書館搞什麼 "嶺悟展" 如攀登喜馬拉亞山等等
The Census Bureau is hiring a million or more people to assist with the 2010 count. It is temporary work, but it pays well. With national unemployment at nearly 10 percent, it looks like an excellent opportunity. That is unless you are one of the nearly 50 million Americans with any arrest or conviction on record.
A new class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of applicants who say they were unfairly turned down for census jobs based on an opaque screening policy that relies on F.B.I. checks for any criminal histories. Those checks are notoriously unreliable. A 2006 federal report found that half of them were inaccurate or out of date.
The Census Bureau is vague about what makes someone ineligible. In Congressional testimony, it suggested that it is excluding people who have been convicted of crimes involving violence and dishonesty. The bureau’s Web site seems to say that applicants whose background checks turn up any arrest — no matter how trivial, distant in time, irrelevant to the job — receive a letter advising them that they can remain eligible only if they produce “official court documentation” bearing on the case within 30 days. Incredibly, the letter does not identify the alleged criminal activity. Applicants must prove eligibility, even if they don’t know why they were flagged.
Official court records are often unobtainable for the millions of people whose convictions have been sealed or expunged or for people who have been arrested and released because of lack of evidence or mistaken arrest. This problem falls heaviest on black and Hispanic communities where stop-and-frisk policies and indiscriminate arrests are common.
The hiring problem is not limited to the Census Bureau. After 9/11, Congress required port workers to undergo F.B.I. background checks to keep their jobs. Last year, a study by the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for workers, found that the government had mistakenly denied credentials to tens of thousands of those workers.
States and cities are wisely revising employment policies. The federal government needs to develop a fair and transparent screening system for job applicants and a more effective appeals process. Congress must also require the F.B.I. to verify the criminal records — and find missing data before issuing background checks.
World Renowned Deming Seminar Comes to Los Angeles: June 7-9, 2010
LOS ANGELES, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In search of a proven method that will transform your organization and your ability to innovate and exceed expectations? For decades, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a name synonymous with quality, taught companies, governments, and businesses around the world how to compete in a world of shrinking margins and increased competition. Dr. Deming's approach to business pulled an entire nation out of crisis.
On June 7-9, The W. Edwards Deming Institute® will present "Out of the Crisis," its 21st century management seminar to Los Angeles. This signature seminar provides the knowledge to transform your organization for the challenges of today while being prepared for those of tomorrow.
"Deming's practices are timeless and as relevant today as they were decades ago, if not more," asserts Los Angeles based business pioneer, Robert Rodin, former CEO of Marshall Industries. After Rodin met Dr. Deming in 1989, he transformed his conventionally successful $500 million company into a $2 billion global competitor. His industrial electronics distribution and supply company grew to 2500 employees and 77,000 customers in 36 countries. "Deming showed me that we could break down the old barriers, reinvent ourselves and integrate the voice of the customer into every corner of our business while preparing ourselves for a future you can't predict," added Rodin.
Why are Deming's ideas the answer? Dr. Deming ignited the worldwide "quality" revolution. In 1950, Japanese industry was in ruins and "Made in Japan" was synonymous with poor quality. In an effort to revive their ailing economy, the Japanese government invited Dr. Deming to Japan. After Japanese executives attended his many seminars, they revitalized their industry and their economy. In recognition, the Emperor of Japan awarded Deming the highly coveted Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure. In 1980, a highly acclaimed NBC documentary introduced his principles to America's greatest companies. Deming became the voice of quality worldwide.
The Deming Institute seminar identifies practices that create problems in organizations and then introduces attendees to management practices that are both proven and revolutionary – ones that will lead them on a path to short-term recovery and long-term sustainability.
The seminar is designed for a broad range of executives, managers and team leaders eager to elevate productivity, think strategically and create a sustained competitive advantage. "Deming understood that quality was not the answer but the outcome of better leadership, management and practice," says Deming's grandson, Kevin Edwards Cahill, Vice President of The W. Edwards Deming Institute®. "Whether you are a start-up or established organization, these proven management practices will profoundly affect your bottom line. My grandfather's legacy lives through this seminar and I encourage you to sign up today."
"Out of the Crisis, Los Angeles," a two-and-a-half day event will feature Deming Institute trained facilitators Kelly Allan, Senior Associate of Kelly Allan Associates, Ltd and Jussi Kyllonen, Quality Systems Manager at Eaton Corporation Aerospace Operations. The seminar will be held on June 7-9, 2010 at the Ayres Hotel Hawthorne / Manhattan Beach / LAX. (14400 Hindry Ave. Hawthorne, CA, 90250) For more information, or to register, visit www.deming.org.
The W. Edwards Deming Institute® is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization incorporated in Washington, DC with offices in Los Angeles, CA. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090612/NE31805LOGO )
SOURCE The W. Edwards Deming Institute
|主要作者||清 魏 源|
|書名/作者||海國圖志 一百卷(卷四十四至卷一百) / (清)魏源撰|
|出版項|| 上海市 : 上海古籍, 1995序-|
總圖1樓四庫全書專區 082.1 2426 v.744