2021-07-31:Leaders 社会动荡和经济欠佳困扰着新兴市场国家

Growth in emerging markets 新兴市场增长

Unrest and economic underperformance haunt the emerging world 社会动荡和经济欠佳困扰着新兴市场国家

The key to better times remains openness 经济要景气,关键仍是保持开放

Jul 31st 2021 |

AT THE START of the century, developing economies were a source of unbounded optimism and fierce ambition. Today South Africa is reeling from an insurrection, Colombia has suffered violent protests and Tunisia faces a constitutional crisis. Illiberal government is in fashion. Peru has just sworn in a Marxist as its president and independent institutions are under attack in Brazil, India and Mexico.

本世纪初,发展中经济体是无限乐观精神和雄心壮志之源。如今,南非深陷暴乱,哥伦比亚爆发暴力抗议,突尼斯面临宪法危机。反自由政府大行其道。一位马克思主义者刚刚宣誓就任秘鲁总统。巴西、印度和墨西哥的独立机构遭到攻击。

This wave of unrest and authoritarianism partly reflects covid-19, which has exposed and exploited vulnerabilities, from rotten bureaucracies to frayed social safety-nets. And as we explain this week, the despair and chaos threaten to exacerbate a profound economic problem: many poor and middle-income countries are losing the knack of catching up with the richest ones.

这波暴乱和专制潮在某种程度上反映了新冠疫情,这场疫情暴露并利用了种种社会弱点,从腐败的官僚体系到漏洞百出的社会安全网等。如本刊本周所解释的,绝望和混乱恐会加剧这个深刻的经济问题:很多中低收入国家将无力赶超富裕国家。

Our excess-mortality model suggests that 8m-16m people have died in the pandemic. The central estimate is 14m. The developing world is vulnerable to the virus, especially lower-middle-income countries where remote working is rare and plenty of people are fat and old. If you strip out China, non-rich countries have 68% of the world’s population but 87% of its deaths. Only 5% of those aged over 12 are fully vaccinated.

本刊的超额死亡模型显示,有800万到1600万人在这场疫情中丧生,中值估计死亡人数为1400万。发展中国家易受病毒侵袭,特别是中低收入国家,这些国家中远程工作岗位稀少,还有很多肥胖及老年人士。不算中国的话,非富裕国家人口只占到全球人口的68%,死亡人数却高达87%。12岁以上人口中只有5%完全接种了疫苗。

Alongside the human cost is an economic bill, since emerging markets have less room to spend their way out of trouble. Medium-term GDP forecasts for all emerging economies are in aggregate 5% lower than before the virus struck. People are angry and, even though protesting during a pandemic is risky, violent demonstrations around the world are more common than at any time since 2008.

由于新兴市场没有太多余力通过增加支出而走出困境,因此除了遭受生命损失以外,还要遭受经济损失。所有新兴经济体中期GDP预测总计比疫情爆发前要低5%。人们都怒气冲天,尽管在疫情期间举行抗议游行会有被感染的风险,世界各地爆发了自2008年以来数量空前的暴力示威活动。

Rich places, such as America and Britain, are no strangers to incompetence and turmoil. But disappointment has hit emerging economies especially hard. In the early 2000s they buzzed with talk of “catch-up”: the idea that poorer countries could prosper by absorbing foreign technology, investing in manufacturing and opening up their economies to trade, as a handful of East Asian tiger economies had done a generation earlier. Wall Street coined the term BRICs to celebrate Brazil, Russia, India and China—the world economy’s new superstars.

失职和乱局等现象在英美等富裕国家早已屡见不鲜。但在新兴经济体中,失望之打击尤为沉重。21世纪初,这些国家充斥着“赶超”之谈:人们相信贫穷国家能通过吸收外国技术、投资制造业和开放贸易而走向繁荣富强,就像上一代东亚“四小龙”那样。华尔街还专门创造了“BRICS”(金砖四国)这个新名词来表彰全球经济新超星——巴西、俄罗斯、印度和中国。

For a while, catch-up worked. The proportion of countries where the level of economic output per head was growing faster than in America rose from 34% in the 1980s to 82% in the 2000s. The implications were momentous. Poverty fell. Multinational companies pivoted away from the boring old West. In geopolitics catch-up promised a new multipolar world in which power was more evenly distributed.

“赶超”也一度取得了成效。人均经济产出水平增长快于美国的国家之比例从1980年代的34%上升至2000年代的82%。其影响重大。贫困率下降了。跨国公司纷纷搬离了沉闷的“旧西方”。地缘政治方面,“赶超”有望实现一个新的多极世界,其中权力分配更加均衡。

This golden age now looks as if it has come to a premature end. In the 2010s the share of countries catching up fell to 59%. China has defied many doomsayers and there have been quieter Asian success stories such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. But Brazil and Russia have let down the BRICs and, as a whole, Latin America, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa are falling further behind the rich world. Even emerging Asia is catching up more slowly than it was.

现在看来,这个黄金时代似乎已提前结束。2010年代“赶超”国家的比例下降到59%。虽然中国让很多唱衰其国运者无功而返,越南、菲律宾和马来西亚等国低调成为亚洲的成功案例。巴西和俄罗斯却辜负了 “金砖四国” 之大名。拉丁美洲、中东和南撒哈拉非洲作为一个整体,与富裕世界间的差距正越拉越大。即使是新兴亚洲市场,赶超速度也比以往更为缓慢。

Bad luck has played a part. The commodity boom of the 2000s fizzled out, global trade stagnated after the financial crisis and bouts of exchange-rate turbulence caused turmoil. But so has complacency as countries have come to think that fast growth was preordained. In many places basic services such as education and health care have been neglected. Crippling problems have been left unfixed, including South Africa’s idle power plants, India’s rotten banks and Russia’s corruption. Instead of defending liberal institutions, such as central banks and the courts, politicians have used them for their own gain.

运气不佳是部分原因。2000年代的大宗商品繁荣最终偃旗息鼓,金融危机之后全球贸易停滞不前,反复无常的汇率动荡造成了市场混乱。由于各国都视快速增长为理所当然,自满情绪爆棚也是部分原因。很多地方,教育、医疗保健等基本服务遭到忽视。一些严重问题未得到解决,其中包括南非的闲置电厂,印度的腐败银行,俄罗斯的贪腐问题等。政客们非但不捍卫央行和法院等自由机构,反而利用它们满足一己私利。

What happens next? One risk is an emerging-market economic crisis as interest rates in America rise. Fortunately most emerging economies are less brittle than they were, because they have floating exchange rates and rely less on foreign-currency debt. Long-running political crises are a bigger worry. Research suggests that protests suppress the economy, which leads to further discontent—and that the effect is more marked in emerging markets.

接下来会怎样?风险之一是,随着美国加息,新兴市场恐会爆发经济危机。好在大多数新兴经济体比以前都更为稳固,因为它们实行浮动汇率,对外币债务依赖较小。长期的政治危机是更大隐忧。研究显示,抗议活动会遏制经济,从而导致更多不满,其影响在新兴市场中更为显著。

Even if emerging economies avoid chaos, the legacy of covid-19 and rising protectionism could condemn them to a long period of slower growth. Many of their people will remain unvaccinated until well into 2022. Long-term productivity could be lowered as a result of so many children having missed school.

即使新兴经济体避免了乱局,新冠疫情的后遗问题和渐渐抬头的保护主义,也将使它们陷入一段漫长的增长放缓期。到2022年,仍将有很多国民未接种疫苗。由于大批儿童失学,长期生产力恐会降低。

Trade may also become harder. China is turning inward, away from the broadly open policies that made it richer. If that continues, China will never be the vast source of consumer demand for the poor world that America has been for China in recent decades.

贸易也会更为艰难。中国逐渐向内转,抛弃了让其富裕起来的广泛开放政策。若这种情况继续下去,对于贫困国家而言,中国绝不会成为巨大的消费需求来源。近几十年来,美国一直是中国的消费需求来源。

The West’s increasing protectionism will also limit export opportunities for foreign producers which, in any case, will be less advantageous as manufacturing becomes less labour-intensive. Unfortunately, rich countries are unlikely to make up for it by liberalising trade in services, which would open up other paths to growth. And they may fail to help exposed economies such as Bangladesh—a success story—adapt to climate change.

西方保护主义抬头,也将限制外国制造商的出口机会。然而随着制造业的劳动密集程度越来越低,反正他们也不再占有太多优势。可惜富国不太可能以放宽服务贸易作为补偿,而服务业的贸易自由化有望开辟其他增长途径。富国也可能无法帮助孟加拉国(本来是个成功案例)等脆弱经济体适应气候变化。

Faced with this grim landscape, emerging markets may themselves be tempted to abandon open trade and investment. That would be a grave error. An unforgiving global environment makes it even more important for them to stick to policies that work. Turkey’s notion that raising interest rates causes inflation has been disastrous; Venezuela’s pursuit of socialism has been ruinous; and banning foreign firms from adding customers, as India just has with Mastercard, is self-defeating. When catching up is hard, those emerging markets which stay open will have the best chance.

面对如此惨淡前景,新兴市场可能忍不住想要放弃开放贸易和投资政策。这将会是个严重的错误。无情的全球环境使它们更有必要坚持行得通的政策。在土耳其,提高利率会导致通胀的理念带来了灾难性后果;委内瑞拉对社会主义的追求,具有极大破坏性;而在印度,禁止外国公司发展新客户,如刚发布的针对万事达卡的新禁令,只会适得其反。当“迎头赶上”困难重重时,保持开放的新兴市场才会抢得先机。

Catch up, don’t give up赶超,别放弃

Some rules have changed: universal access to digital technologies is now vital, as is an adequate social safety-net. But the principles of how to get rich remain the same today as they ever were. Stay open to trade, compete in global markets and invest in infrastructure and education. Before the liberal reforms of recent decades, economies were diverging. There is time yet to avoid a return to the needless hardship of old. ■

一些规则已经改写:普及数字技术,以及完备社会安全网都至关重要。致富的原则和以前一样:保持贸易开放,参与全球市场竞争,投资基础设施和教育。近几十年自由化改革开始前,各经济体正走向分化。现在还来得及避免再次陷入到过去无谓的困境中。

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