經濟學助長社會不公 哈佛罷課

2011/11/08

「占領華爾街」運動由美國紐約起頭,蔓延到歐洲甚至亞洲的蒙古,如今卻出現一個令人稱奇的駁火地點:哈佛大學經濟學課堂。

大約七十名學生近日罷上曼昆(Gregory Mankiw)所教授的經濟學入門課,宣稱他的著作及授課傳授的保守派觀點,助長了社會不公不平。

罷課學生發表公開信表示,曼昆的保守派理論深深影響哈佛歷屆畢業生,其中許多現在是貨幣政策制定者與銀行家,導致當前金融危機。

罷課學生表示,曼昆的課程「擁護一種特定而侷限的經濟學觀點,以至於我等相信,今日社會中的經濟不公平現象,乃源自於體制出問題及效能不彰,而該課程的觀點對此難辭其咎。」

曼昆曾擔任小布希總統的經濟謀士,現為共和黨總統參選人羅姆尼的顧問,寫過兩本廣獲使用的經濟學教科書,包括《經濟學原理》(Principles of Economics),普林斯頓、耶魯、台大等大學都使用。他曾批評說,有人認為減稅減少的稅收,未來終會自動彌補回來,這根本「一窩蜂經濟學」。他在哈佛開的經濟學課程,選修學生七百人,是大學部最紅課程。

哈佛校刊《哈佛深紅報》中報導,曼昆表示自己教授「主流經濟學」,並不挾帶任何的政治主張。

臉書討論

回應

哈佛學生罷上 Gregory Mankiw 的課,是 OWS 擴及更廣、更多樣抗議形式的展現。 Mankiw 出版的總經教科書,幾乎是美國多數大學必用的教材。經濟學界如何在理論和就業上,對社會經濟分配的不平等發揮「貢獻」,是應該檢視的議題。

Students Walk Out of Ec 10 in Solidarity with 'Occupy'
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/11/2/mankiw-walkout-economics-10/

By LM 0511

start with a study by Gregory Mankiw, former chairman of George W.
Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers – and therefore presumably on the
tax-cutting side of American politics – and Matthew Weinzierl
(published in The Journal of Public Economics in 2006 and,
unfortunately, available only to subscribers) that shows the economic
growth caused by a tax cut can offset, at best, a portion of the
revenues lost by that tax cut.
Specifically, Professors. Mankiw and Weinzierl calculated that 32.4
percent of the “static” or direct revenue loss of a capital-gains tax
cut and 14.7 percent of the static revenue loss of a labor tax cut
could be offset in present-value terms by additional growth, ignoring
short-term Keynesian effects (i.e., any immediate stimulus provided to
the economy).
Now 32.4 percent is a lot, but it is far less than 100 percent. And a
critical assumption for Professors Mankiw and Weinzierl is that
government spending falls to keep the budget in balance. In their
framework that’s a good thing — as they are effectively assuming away
the consequences of any productive effects of government spending
(e.g., what if less spending on schools means less education and this
hurts “human capital” and therefore productivity down the road?).
Sticking for a moment with just with their view of the world, if
instead the tax cuts are financed by additional debt, as was our
collective experience during the 2000s, the ultimate effect of those
cuts can be to lower economic growth in the long term, depending on
whether the larger debt eventually leads to lower government
transfers, lower government consumption, higher taxes on capital or
higher taxes on labor. (Eric M. Leeper and Shu-Chun Susan Yang discuss
this in “Dynamic Scoring: Alternative Financing Schemes,” also in The
Journal of Public Economics, in 2008.)
More broadly, in 2005, the Congressional Budget Office, then headed by
a Republican appointee, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, estimated that the
economic effects of a 10 percent cut in income taxes would offset from
1 to 22 percent of the revenue loss in the first five years; in the
following five years, the economic effects might offset up to 32
percent of the revenue loss, but might also add 5 percent to the
revenue loss.
This is an entirely reasonable assessment — the budget office exists
to provide balanced analysis for the budget process. The bottom line
is that betting that tax cuts will pay for themselves is a high-risk
strategy and not a good idea at our current levels of government debt
relative to gross domestic product. We do not have a large margin for
error. (Disclosure: I’m on the Panel of Economic Advisers for the the
budget office, but I didn’t have anything to do with that
study.)
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/can-tax-cuts-pay-for-themse...
...
he had 'significant respect' for the protestor’s activism.
He said: 'Over recent years, I’ve seen Harvard students becoming increasingly pre-professional. That they are sitting back and thinking broadly about social issues ... those are good questions for students to be asking, and to the extent that Occupy Wall Street sparks debate, that’s good.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058319/Did-Harvard-economics-cl...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058319/Did-Harvard-economics-cl...