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中国VS欧洲|《经济学人》:先进抑或落后,在于解构和建构

2017-06-22 从余启 我与我们的世界 我与我们的世界

欢迎打开“我与我们的世界”,从此,让我们一起“纵览世界之风云变幻、洞察社会之脉搏律动、感受个体之生活命运、挖掘自然之点滴奥妙”。

我与我们的世界,既是一个“奋斗”的世界,也是一个“思考”的世界。奋而不思则罔,思而不奋则殆。这个世界,你大,它就大;你小,它就小。

欢迎通过上方公众号名称打开公众号“查看历史信息”来挖掘往期文章,因为,每期都能让你“走近”不一样的世界、带给你不一样的精彩


本期导读:根据马克思主义政治经济学理论的指导,我们都知道,任何类型的社会中,都是经济基础决定着上层建筑。


说得通俗一点,人民生活水平好了,上层建筑就会稳固,反之,若人民生活在水深火热之中,那么,上层建筑或许也就没什么好日子了。


从某种意义上讲,亦即上层建筑的政治合法性,很大程度上取决于人民对生活的满意程度。而人民对生活的满意程度,在绝大多数国家中,主要决定因素就在于收入水平。


下面,就让我们一起来看看,历史上中国与欧洲在收入水平上的对比会怎样,然后再看看,当下中国与欧洲在收入水平上的表现又如何。


History

历史

A not-so-golden age

所谓的“黄金时代”

China has been poorer than Europe longer than the party thinks

中国比欧洲贫穷的时期,要比普罗大众所认为的长得多。


XI JINPING, China’s president, likes to talk of his “Chinese dream”. He says it involves “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. To him this means that under the Communist Party, China will again be the world’s richest, most powerful country as it was before the “hundred years of humiliation”—the economic disasters and territorial grabs by foreigners during the century after the first opium war of 1839-42. By extension the party’s legitimacy will rest on this rejuvenation. But what if China was not the world’s richest country before 1839? What if it has lagged behind Europe not for 175 years but for 675? Would Mr Xi’s Chinese dream be so compelling?

现在,中国喜欢大谈他们的“中国梦”,即“中华民族伟大复兴”之梦。中国梦意味着,在中国共产党的领导下,中国将再次成为世界上最富裕、最强大的国家,就如1839-1942年第一次鸦片战争后遭受外敌入侵、经济崩溃、国家破败的“百年耻辱”之前那样。做点引申就是,中国政府的政治合法性,将基于这样的民族复兴。但是,万一1839年之前中国不是世界上最富裕的国家,那该怎么办呢?万一中国落后于欧洲不是175年,而是675年,又该怎么办呢?这样的话,中国梦还有它现在的吸引力么?


A new study by Stephen Broadberry of Oxford University, Hanhui Guan of Peking University and David Daokui Li of Tsinghua University in Beijing argues that China has indeed lagged behind Europe for centuries. It compares levels of GDP per person in China, England, Holland, Italy and Japan since around the year 1000. It finds the only period when China was richer than the others was during the 11th century. By that time China had invented gunpowder, the compass, movable type, paper money and the blast furnace.

牛津大学的斯蒂芬·布劳德伯利、北京大学的管汉晖以及清华大学的李稻葵最近所进行的一项研究显示,中国确实比欧洲落后好几个世纪,这是通过中国、英国、荷兰、意大利以及日本自公元1000年左右以来的人均GDP水平对比分析得出的结论。研究还发现,仅在11世纪期间,中国比另几个国家富裕,那时,中国已发明了火药、指南针、活字印刷术、纸币以及冶炼炉。


But according to Mr Broadberry and his co-authors, Italy had caught up with China before 1300, and Holland and England by 1400. Around 1800 Japan overtook China as the richest Asian country. Chinese GDP per person fell relentlessly during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). In 1620, it was roughly the same as it had been in 980. By 1840, it had fallen by almost a third (see chart).

不过,根据三人的研究,意大利在公元1300年之前就赶上了中国,荷兰与英国是在公元1400年。公元1800年左右,日本超越中国成为亚洲最富裕的国家。在清朝(1644-1912),中国的人均GDP疾速下降。公元1620年,中国的人均GDP大概相当于公元980年的水平,到1840年,又进一步下降了近三分之一(见图表)。



These findings challenge a hitherto common belief that China and Europe had similar living standards for centuries until the West’s industrial revolution began in the late 18th century: a point often referred to by historians as the “great divergence”. This view, promoted by Kenneth Pomeranz of the University of Chicago, lends more support to the party’s understanding.

这些研究结果,挑战了至今依然流行的这样一种观念:中国与欧洲几个世纪都拥有相近的生活水平,直到18世纪晚期西方发生工业革命,这就是常被史学家称为的“大分流”。芝加哥大学肯尼斯·彭慕兰所推崇的“大分流”概念,更有力地支撑了在中国所流行的观念。


Researchers used not to be able to work out GDP from 1,000 years ago. Angus Maddison, an economic historian, was among the first to try. But the research by Mr Broadberry and his colleagues, which scales up local and private records to generate national accounts, offers greater detail. The first study of Britain’s historical GDP using this technique appeared in 2008. It was followed quickly by other ones focusing on Holland, Italy and now on China.

过去,对于1000年以前的GDP,研究人员一般是无法计算出来的。经济史学家安格斯·麦迪森是首批尝试者之一。不过,三人这次的研究,基于地方与私有领域的数据计算国民财富,则更为详细。通过这种方法首次进行英国历史上GDP的计算,出现于2008年,随后很快就有很多其他类似研究跟进,先是荷兰、意大利,现在又有了中国。


Doubts remain about the quality of the Chinese data. A recent study by Kent Deng and Patrick O’Brien of the London School of Economics argues they are too fragmentary. It is hard enough comparing the living standards of different countries today, let alone doing so in the distant past with far less precise statistics. Mr Broadberry responds that China’s historical sources are no worse than those available for medieval England. He also notes that imperial China and early-modern Europe both used silver as a unit of value, facilitating comparison.


But there remains a vital difference of scale. Italy and the Holland were the richest parts of Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. It might be better to compare them not with China as a whole but with its richest part, the Yangzi delta, around modern-day Shanghai. If you do that, England and Holland were still richer than the Yangzi area in 1800 but the point at which they overtook the delta turns out to be around 1700. This is not so different from Mr Pomeranz’s view that the great divergence happened in the 18th century. But it still means the process had begun before the industrial revolution, which in turn implies that European wealth and Chinese poverty cannot be explained by industrialisation: they must reflect institutional differences.


Mr Xi would do better to consider a different source of legitimacy from history: poverty reduction. If Mr Broadberry and his co-authors are right, Chinese peasants saw almost 1,000 years of decline and misery after 1000. But Mr Xi’s party has massively reduced rural poverty and hopes to eradicate it by 2020. That is an achievable dream.


再来看看现如今中国的GDP


国际货币基金组织、世界银行、联合国

GDP总量排名靠前的经济体

目前,中国GDP总量稳居全球第二


国际货币基金组织、世界银行、联合国

人均GDP排名靠前的经济体

没想到中国澳门的人均GDP全球排名辣末靠前


国际货币基金组织、世界银行、联合国

中国香港人均GDP全球排名大概位置


国际货币基金组织

中国台湾人均GDP全球排名大概位置


国际货币基金组织、世界银行、联合国

中国人均GDP全球排名大概位置



往期精彩:


世界风云榜|《全球创新指数报告》:创新是能力,也是动力

绿色中国|《经济学人》:有些污浊看得见,有些污浊看不见

遥望世界2050|《普华永道》:中国和印度,将领跑全球

中国故事|《世纪之变》:百年光影,忽闪而过,尽在不言

耳目一新|《中国模式》:中国的“两次革命”及其未来

新书速递|《男性之隐》:一百位男性受访者倾吐心声

中美关系|《外媒》:中国邀请特朗普女儿、女婿访华


注:

1:后台回复“20170617”,可获本期《经济学人》下载方式,回复“中欧比较研究”,可获三位专家的研究论文。

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