「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2010年10月11日 星期一


Labour market researchers wins Nobel Prize

As the world struggles to sustain a fragile economic recovery, the Nobel Prize for economics was awarded on Monday to three researchers whose work explains how market frictions can hinder the smooth functioning of an economy and its ability to adjust to shocks.

在世界艰难维持脆弱的经济复苏之际,诺贝尔经济学奖昨日被授予三名学术研究者。他们的 研究解释了,市场摩擦会如何影响经济的平稳运行及其在冲击之下做出调整的能力。

Their work, which shows how markets can sometimes lead to inefficient outcomes, has influenced economists’ understanding of unemployment.


One of the laureates, Peter Diamond, is a nominee for the board of the Federal Reserve. His original nomination by President Barack Obama in April was endorsed by the Senate’s banking committee but the full Senate failed to keep the nomination alive over the summer recess.

获奖者之一——彼得•戴蒙德(Peter Diamond)是美联储(Fed)理事职位提名人。总统巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)4月份对他的最初提名,得到了参议院银行业委员会的同意,但未等到夏季休会期结束,就被整个参议院退回了白宫。

Richard Shelby, Republican senator from Alabama and ranking member of the Senate banking committee, questioned Mr Diamond’s monetary policy qualifications during confirmation hearings in July. While Mr Shelby said Mr Diamond was “a skilled economist”, he added that “I do not believe that the current environment of uncertainty would benefit from monetary policy decisions made by board members who are learning on the job”.

理查德•谢尔比(Richard Shelby)是来自亚拉巴马的共和党议员、参议院银行业委员会高级委员。在7月份提名确认听证会期间,他对戴蒙德的货币政策资格提出了质疑。尽管谢尔比 称戴蒙德是“一位有技能的经济学家”,但他补充表示,“我不认为,当前这种充满不确定性的环境,将会受益于边干边学的理事会成员的货币政策决定。”

The economics profession’s greatest accolade was bestowed on Mr Diamond and his fellow laureates, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides, for their fundamental contributions to understanding how supply and demand are matched when there are transactions or search costs involved.

与戴蒙德同时获得这份经济学界最大荣誉的,还有戴尔•莫滕森(Dale Mortensen)与克里斯托弗•皮萨里季斯(Christopher Pissarides)。三人获奖原因是,他们对理解下列问题做出了根本贡献,即在涉及交易或搜寻成本的情况下,供求是怎样得到匹配的。

Their “search and matching” theories show that it is not enough to have buyers and sellers who can in principle agree on a price; those buyers and sellers must also find each other and decide to enter into a transaction rather than hold out for a better match.

他们的“搜寻和匹配”理论表明,光有在理论上能够达成交易的买家与卖家还不够;这些买 家与卖家还必须找得到对方,并决定达成一项交易,而不是继续寻找,希望发现更好的匹配对象。

In some settings, such as public financial trading platforms, buyers and sellers may be matched instantaneously. But in many other markets, transactions happen only after a search process that can be costly and time-consuming.

在某些背景下——比如公共金融交易平台,买家与卖家可能会即刻达成交易。但在许多其它 市场,只有在经历一番耗时又代价高昂的搜寻后,交易才会发生。

The laureates’ research has shown that this makes possible market outcomes in which supply and demand are matched inefficiently or not at all. In such cases, government intervention may improve on what the market alone achieves.

三位获奖者的研究表明,这可能会导致供求出现无效率匹配或根本无法匹配的市场结局。在 这些情况下,政府干预可能会提高市场的效率。


Peter A. Diamond
Dale T. Mortensen
Christopher A. Pissarides
Peter A. DiamondDale T. MortensenChristopher A. Pissarides

The theory: Model of search and matching offers help for lovelorn singletons

The principle of voluntary pairing under competitive conditions” is not the most romantic way of explaining why some get married and others remain single.


But finding a life partner – or “the mating game”, for those inclined to game-theory – is an important application of the theory of search and matching. On Monday, its founders were rewarded for their efforts with the Nobel Prize in economic science.


Search theories added realism to earlier theories of matching. As Dale Mortensen, one of the laureates, wrote in a 1988 paper: “It takes time to meet a partner and to learn the uncertain value of any partnership.”

“搜寻理论”向早些时候的“匹配理论”注入了现实主义成分。正如获奖者之一戴尔•莫滕森(Dale Mortensen)在1988年的一篇论文中所言:“人们结识一个伴侣,并了解这一伴侣关系所包含的不确定的价值,需要花费时间。”

Small consolation to a teenager who has fallen out of love for the first time. But the fickleness of the heart has at least been properly incorporated into economic models by this year’s Nobel laureates. Indeed, the searching single may want to learn from their research. “A principal implication of the models,” Mr Mortensen wrote, “is that some acceptable matches form that will separate in the future even when the individuals are fully aware of the possibility.”

这对于初次失恋的少男少女来说,或许安慰不大。但人心的变化无常,至少被今年的诺贝尔 奖得主恰当地纳入了经济模型之中。事实上,仍在寻找伴侣的单身人士,或许希望从他们的研究中学到点什么。莫滕森写道:“这些模型的一个最重要的结论是,即 使个人充分意识到将来可能会分手,但仍然会结成一些可接受的匹配。”

So students of Mr Mortensen and his colleagues’ work will look for partners while acknowledging the possibility of divorce.


But this is hardly a model of dissolute morals. In fact, one intriguing implication of some search models is that, far from playing hard to get, singles may settle too soon.


When they stop searching they do not take into account that making themselves less available is a cost to all the other singles out there who may still be looking for a good match. In theory, there is a case for a subsidy: “a bribe paid in every period to remain single”, as Mr Mortensen put it.


Policymakers will not hurry to introduce one. But the analogy with labour markets shows the power of the theory. There, the analogous subsidy already exists in the form of unemployment benefits.