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[译文]教育能解决贫困问题吗?

Why Education Does Not Fix Poverty
为什么教育不能解决贫困问题

作者:Matt Bruenig @ 2015-12-2
译者:龟海海
校对:小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子)
来源:Demos,http://www.demos.org/blog/12/2/15/why-education-does-not-fix-poverty

Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute claim to have hatched a bipartisan consensus plan for reducing poverty. As exciting as that sounds, the details of the plan, unfortunately, won’t be available until David Brooks unveils them at an event on December 3rd. Nonetheless, it’s clear from the materials they have released that the consensus plan will focus on three things: education, marriage, and work.

布鲁金斯学会和美国企业协会声称已研究出一个双方都认同的计划来减少贫困【编注:布鲁金斯学会和美国企业协会分别是美国自由派和保守派阵营最具影响力的智库】。尽管听起来很令人激动,但不幸的是,David Brooks要等到12月3日的一个活动上才会公布这个计划的详情。尽管如此,根据他们之前所公布的一些资料,他们的共同计划将主要集中在三个方面:教育,婚姻和工作。

In the next few posts, I will attack all three focuses as misguided. Today’s focus will be on education, easily the most misguided of the three.

在随后的文章中我会逐步抨击所有这三个误导性的焦点。今天我将说一说教育,也是三个中最具误导性的。

1. Rehearsing the Education Poverty Argument
1. 回顾教育改变贫穷的观点

To see where the education poverty argument goes wrong, it’s helpful to explain what that argument is first. In this post, I am going to do that by pretending initially that we are in the year 1991. That year has no special significance other than that it’s the year the modern Census education questions begin.

要看清这个教育改变贫穷的观点哪里不对劲,有必要先解释一下这个观点是什么。在本文中,我会首先假装我们生活在1991年。那一年除了人口普查中开始出现教育相关问题,没有什么特别的事件。

So imagine you are an education-focused poverty person living in 1991. You peer out into the world of basic social statistics and you see this graph of adult poverty rates broken down by education:

那么我们来想象一下,你生活在1991年,并且关注通过教育改变贫穷。你往基础社会统计的世界里张望,看到这幅按教育程度统计的成人贫穷率图表:

pov1991

 

You notice something very striking about the graph: the higher the education, the lower the poverty rate.

You go back out into the social statistics universe and you see this graph breaking down the distribution of adults across the various educational groups:

你在该图表里发现一些很令人震惊的东西:学历越高,贫困率越低。

然后你再回到社会统计领域之中,看到这幅成年人的教育程度分布图:

edu1991

You combine this graph with the poverty rate graph in your mind and you have an epiphany. Because the lower educational bins have higher poverty rates and the higher educational bins have lower poverty rates, if we change the composition of adults such that a greater percentage of them wind up in the higher educational bins, that will mean lower overall poverty.

你把该图和之前的贫穷率图表综合起来,然后你瞬间顿悟。因为低学历的格子里有较高贫困率,高学历的格子里有较低贫困率,如果我们把成年人的组成换一换,多一点人落入较高学历的格子里,那总体的贫困率就会降低。

So, for instance, if we could move 9 points off the “less than high school” bar and on to the “associate” (or better) bars, we would definitely(more...)

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Why Education Does Not Fix Poverty 为什么教育不能解决贫困问题 作者:Matt Bruenig @ 2015-12-2 译者:龟海海 校对:小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子) 来源:Demos,http://www.demos.org/blog/12/2/15/why-education-does-not-fix-poverty Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute claim to have hatched a bipartisan consensus plan for reducing poverty. As exciting as that sounds, the details of the plan, unfortunately, won't be available until David Brooks unveils them at an event on December 3rd. Nonetheless, it's clear from the materials they have released that the consensus plan will focus on three things: education, marriage, and work. 布鲁金斯学会和美国企业协会声称已研究出一个双方都认同的计划来减少贫困【编注:布鲁金斯学会和美国企业协会分别是美国自由派和保守派阵营最具影响力的智库】。尽管听起来很令人激动,但不幸的是,David Brooks要等到12月3日的一个活动上才会公布这个计划的详情。尽管如此,根据他们之前所公布的一些资料,他们的共同计划将主要集中在三个方面:教育,婚姻和工作。 In the next few posts, I will attack all three focuses as misguided. Today's focus will be on education, easily the most misguided of the three. 在随后的文章中我会逐步抨击所有这三个误导性的焦点。今天我将说一说教育,也是三个中最具误导性的。 1. Rehearsing the Education Poverty Argument 1. 回顾教育改变贫穷的观点 To see where the education poverty argument goes wrong, it's helpful to explain what that argument is first. In this post, I am going to do that by pretending initially that we are in the year 1991. That year has no special significance other than that it's the year the modern Census education questions begin. 要看清这个教育改变贫穷的观点哪里不对劲,有必要先解释一下这个观点是什么。在本文中,我会首先假装我们生活在1991年。那一年除了人口普查中开始出现教育相关问题,没有什么特别的事件。 So imagine you are an education-focused poverty person living in 1991. You peer out into the world of basic social statistics and you see this graph of adult poverty rates broken down by education: 那么我们来想象一下,你生活在1991年,并且关注通过教育改变贫穷。你往基础社会统计的世界里张望,看到这幅按教育程度统计的成人贫穷率图表: pov1991   You notice something very striking about the graph: the higher the education, the lower the poverty rate. You go back out into the social statistics universe and you see this graph breaking down the distribution of adults across the various educational groups: 你在该图表里发现一些很令人震惊的东西:学历越高,贫困率越低。 然后你再回到社会统计领域之中,看到这幅成年人的教育程度分布图: edu1991 You combine this graph with the poverty rate graph in your mind and you have an epiphany. Because the lower educational bins have higher poverty rates and the higher educational bins have lower poverty rates, if we change the composition of adults such that a greater percentage of them wind up in the higher educational bins, that will mean lower overall poverty. 你把该图和之前的贫穷率图表综合起来,然后你瞬间顿悟。因为低学历的格子里有较高贫困率,高学历的格子里有较低贫困率,如果我们把成年人的组成换一换,多一点人落入较高学历的格子里,那总体的贫困率就会降低。 So, for instance, if we could move 9 points off the "less than high school" bar and on to the "associate" (or better) bars, we would definitely see lower poverty. After all, you are moving people out of a high poverty bin and into low poverty bins. Similarly, if you could move 6.5 points of the "high school" bar and on to the "associate" (or better) bars, you'd see lower poverty for the same reason. 举个例子,如果我们把“低于高中”中的9个百分点,移动到“大专”(或以上)的格子里去,我们肯定会看到更低的贫困率。总之,你是在把人从高贫困率的格子里,移动到低贫困率的格子里去。类似的,如果你能把“高中”中的6.5个百分点,移动到“大专”(或以上)的格子里,你同样会看到更低的贫困率。 2. It Didn't Work 2. 然并卵 Since 1991, we have done precisely what the education-focused poverty people said to do. Between 1991 and 2014, we steadily reduced the share of adults in the "less than high school" and "high school" bins and increased the share of adults in every other bin: 从1991年起,我们完全按照这帮关注教育改善贫穷的人所说的去做。在1991年和2014年之间,我们稳步降低了成人中“低于高中”和“高中”的比率,令其他人群比率提高: compall By 2014, the share of adults in the "less than high school" bin declined 9 points from 20.6% to 11.6%. The share of adults in the "high school" bin declined 6.5 points from 36% to 29.5%. Meanwhile, the share of adults with an Associate degree went up 3.9 points, the share with a Bachelor's degree went up 8.3 points, and the share with a post-Bachelor's degree went up 4.8 points. 截至2014年,成年人中“低于高中”这部分已经降低了9个百分点,从20.6%降到了11.6%。成年人中“高中”这部分下降了6.5个百分点,从36%降到了29.5%。同时成年人中拥有大专学历的上涨了3.9个百分点,拥有学士学位的上涨了8.3个百分点,拥有学士以上学历的增长了4.8个百分点。 1991to2014 If the poverty rates for each educational bin remained the same, then the upward redistribution of adults from the lower bins to the higher bins would have led to lower overall poverty. But that's not what happened. 如果各个教育层次的贫困率都保持不变,将成年人从低学历移向高学历应该导致整体贫困率下降才是。但是,这却并未发生。 Instead, the poverty rate for each educational bin went up over this time and overall poverty didn't decline at all. In fact it went up. 实际上,各个教育层次的贫困率在这一时期都上升了,总体贫困率根本没有降低,反而是上升了。 EduPoorRates By 2014, the "less than high school" poverty rate had increased 3.7 points. The "high school" poverty rate increased 4.6 points. "Some college" went up 4.1 points, "associate" went up 3.8 points, "bachelor's" went up 2.1 points, and "post-bachelor's" went up 1.7. Despite the educational gains, overall adult poverty in 2014 was actually 1.1 points higher than in 1991. 截至2014年,“低于高中”这栏的贫困率提高了3.7个点。“高中”的贫困率增长4.6个点。“专科院校”增长了4.1个点,“大专”上升3.8个点,“学士”增长2.1点,“学士以上”上升1.7点。尽管学历水平得到提高,但2014年的总体贫困率却比1991年高了1.1个点。 ratechange As the adults migrated up the educational bins, they took the poverty into the higher educational bins with them: 随着教育程度提高,成年人把贫困也带入了更高的教育程度之中: Edupoor Over this period, the share of poor adults with "less than high school" education plummeted 20.1 points from 48.3 points to 28.2 points. Every other educational bin saw share gains of 2.6 to 5 points. 在这期间,贫困成年人中“低于高中”文化水平的占比大跌了20.1个点,从48.3%降到了28.2%。其余每个教育程度都大约增长了2.6到5个点。 change Adults these days are as educated as they have ever been, but poverty is no lower than it was in 1991. This is not because the few lingering people with "less than high school" have soaked up all the poverty. Quite the contrary: poverty has simply moved up the educational scale. The poor in 2014 were the most educated poor in history. 如今成年人的教育程度空前之高,但是贫困率并不比1991年低。这不是因为少数学历“低于高中”又游手好闲的人占据了贫困。正好相反,贫困问题在向高教育程度人群转移。2014年的贫困人口是有史以来教育程度最高的。 3. Why It Doesn't Work 3. 为什么没有用 There are a number reasons why aggregate education gains do not necessarily translate into aggregate poverty declines. I will discuss three here. 总体教育程度提高未必转化为总体贫困率下降,这当中有很多原因。我在此说三点。 First, handing out more high school and college diplomas doesn't magically create more good-paying jobs. When more credentials are chasing the same number of decent jobs, what you get is credential inflation: jobs that used to require a high school degree now require a college degree; jobs that used to require an Associate degee now require a Bachelor's degreee; and so on. 第一,发出更多的高中和大学文凭并未能像变魔术般的创造出更多高薪工作。当更多更闪耀的文凭来争夺同样多的好工作时,你得到的是文凭通胀:那些本来要求高中文凭的工作现在要求大学文凭;那些本来要求大专学历的工作现在要求本科学历,依此类推。 Obviously the supply of good-paying jobs is not a fixed constant of nature, but there is no reason to think that the supply will automatically go up to match the number of people with the necessary credentials. The types of jobs available in a society, and their level of compensation, is determined by many factors (demand, worker power, technology, global competition, natural resources, etc.) that have little to do with the number of degrees that society is minting. 显然,好工作的供给并非一成不变,但也没有理由相信好工作会随着合格的文凭增多而增多。社会中的工作类别,以及薪金水平,是由很多因素决定的(需求,工会力量,技术,全球竞争,自然资源,等等),这些因素和社会上颁发的文凭数量并没有多大关系。 Second, having more education does not necessarily increase people's productive capacity. Those in the know will identify this as the old "signaling v. human capital" point. The short of it is that, even if jobs did automatically pop into existence to match people's level of productive ability, it's not at all clear that college education necessarily does a lot to increase people's productive ability. Instead, what college education does (at least in part) is signal to employers that you have a certain level of relative "quality" over others in society. 第二,接受更多教育并不意味着更高的生产率。内行人会发现这是古老的“信号传递对人力资本”理论的要点【编注:这是解释教育程度与薪酬水平关系的两种理论,前者认为文凭传递了有关个人禀赋的信号,后者认为教育确实提升了人力资本的生产率】。简单地说,即使自动会有工作职位来匹配人们的产出能力水平,大学教育是否对提高人们的产出能力有很大作用也完全不明确。而大学教育所做的是(至少一部分是)向雇主发出一个信号:你相比社会上其他的人“优秀”一些。 As more people get degrees, the value of this signal declines, but more importantly, the point is that the degree was always a signal, not a productivity enhancer. 然而,当越来越多的人拿到文凭时,这个信号就变弱了,更重要的是,文凭永远只是一个信号,并非产出能力的推进器。 Third, poverty is really about non-working people: children, elderly, disabled, students, carers, and the unemployed. The big things that cause poverty for adults over the age of 25 in a low-welfare capitalist society—old-age, disability, unemployment, having children—do not go away just because you have a better degree. 第三,贫困的是那些不工作的人:孩子,老人,残疾人,学生,照顾家人者和无业者。在一个低福利资本主义社会,导致25岁以上成年人贫困的罪魁祸首——老龄化,残疾,失业,育儿——不会仅仅因为你有了个更好文凭而消失。 These poverty-inducing circumstances are social constants that could strike anyone of us and do strike many of us at some point in our lives. To the extent that education does nothing to provide better income support for those who do find themselves in these vulnerable situations, its effect on overall poverty levels will always be weak, or, as with the US in the last 23 years, totally nonexistent. 这些导致贫穷的境况在社会中总是存在的,我们每个人都有可能遇到,并且必定有很多人在生命中的某一个时刻会遇到。既然教育不能帮助那些身处窘境的人们或得更多收入,那它对整体贫困水平的影响就必然很微弱,或者正如在美国过去23年的情况那样,根本不存在。

******

Technical note. For this post, I used the Official Poverty Metric (OPM) to measure poverty. This is mainly because it's the only metric for which publicly accessible microdata exists back to 1991. The OPM is deeply flawed because it excludes from its calculation taxes, tax credits, and non-cash benefits like WIC, Section 8, and Food Stamps. 技术性注解:在本文中,我运用了官方贫困数据(OPM)来量化贫困,主要是因为这是唯一公众可以查找到的1991年前的微观数据。由于没有考虑所得税、税收抵免,以及包括低收入妇女儿童健康营养补助,《住房法案》第八章下的住房补贴和食物救济券在内的非现金福利,该OPM数据有很大的缺陷。 Because the alleged poverty-reducing mechanism of higher educational attainment is that it increases market income (not welfare income or income from refundable tax credits), the OPM's flaws are not really relevant here. In short, the OPM, despite its problems, works perfectly fine here. 因为所谓高学历可以减少贫困的观点着眼于提高市场收入(而非福利收入或税收抵免返还),所以与OPM的缺陷并不相关。简而言之,尽管OPM有所不足,但在这里引用绝对没有问题。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

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饭文#P9: 用工荒还要持续多久?

用工荒还要持续多久?
辉格
2011年2月16日

新年伊始,多项报道和调查显示,国内劳动密集型行业再次遭遇用工荒,其程度看来已超过去年;如何看待这一轮民工荒乃至整体性劳动力紧缺?它还将延续多久,是季节性紧缺还是长期趋势?是通货膨胀在推动还是人口变迁的后果?对这些问题的考察,不仅将影响企业的生产安排和投资决策,也是我们观察宏观波动的一个好窗口。

其实,劳动力市场的紧缺状况在去年一整年都在持续,自从金融危机高峰期的恐慌性紧缩退去,在随后为补充危机中被清空的库存而引发的订单反弹中,已出现过一次令企业措手不及(more...)

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用工荒还要持续多久? 辉格 2011年2月16日 新年伊始,多项报道和调查显示,国内劳动密集型行业再次遭遇用工荒,其程度看来已超过去年;如何看待这一轮民工荒乃至整体性劳动力紧缺?它还将延续多久,是季节性紧缺还是长期趋势?是通货膨胀在推动还是人口变迁的后果?对这些问题的考察,不仅将影响企业的生产安排和投资决策,也是我们观察宏观波动的一个好窗口。 其实,劳动力市场的紧缺状况在去年一整年都在持续,自从金融危机高峰期的恐慌性紧缩退去,在随后为补充危机中被清空的库存而引发的订单反弹中,已出现过一次令企业措手不及的用工荒;这一紧张局面,从去年由电子商务大战而引发的送货工大紧缺中,可以窥见一斑;而到去年暑期,企业又发现人力短缺已从低端市场蔓延到了大学毕业生市场。 春节或许只是季节性的加剧了短缺局面,多年来,对于常年在外打工的人们,春节始终是个密集交流信息和重新自我估价的最佳机会,在短短二十多天里,高频度的走亲访友、老友重聚,出席许多因在外打工而被推迟了的婚宴,大量关于就业机会、雇主品质和价格的信息在其间被交换;并且,与同龄人的境遇对比、对新型消费与生活方式的重新认知,以及家人亲友的评价、期待和督促中,将激发他们对未来的人生规划作出调整。 这样,当他们再次返回市场时,指导其选择和议价的已是一套新的信息背景和价格期望;同时,由于春节返乡的交通和误工成本,可以和更换工作的成本最大程度的重叠,因而在节后换工作的机会成本将是最低的;因此,由人口趋势或景气变动等中长期趋势所积累起来的重新议价压力,往往会在春节集中释放,表现为节后用工荒。 不过,上述分析仍未回答一个重要的疑问:劳动市场能否在一轮重新议价之后稳定下来?答案将取决于我们如何看待当前的宏观周期走势;一种不祥的可能性是,本轮用工荒可能构成了通货膨胀进程中价格轮番上升的一环:两年前的货币和财政大扩张,首先抬高了要素和原材料价格,继而在18个月左右的延迟后引发了消费品价格上涨,现在循环正进入第二轮:当人们发现生活成本大幅上升,便要求更多工资,接着产品成本将再次提高…… 由于信息传播和重新议价决策存在延迟,工资变动被拖延到节后,而更糟糕的是,人们脑子里并没有一个“通货膨胀计算器”按统计局公布的通胀率(即便它是准确可信的)来随时修正价格信号,相反,他们只能通过生活中的交易、标价和巷议来逐步感知它,因而每个人的体会是不同的,这种信息紊乱也正是通货膨胀最致命的危害所在,它打乱了市场的议价机制,也提高了交易成本,使得节后劳动市场的重新议价变动更困难,从而加剧和拖延用工荒。 那么,上述价格轮番上升难道会一直这么持续下去吗?是的,如果没人去拧上货币龙头的话;反之,如果有人去把它拧上,价格惯性就会像撞到一堵墙上那样反弹震荡并停下来,那就是所谓的硬着陆;所以,任何法定纸币体系一旦发动开闸放水的通胀政策,要么听凭长期两位数通胀率,要么就忍受一次硬着陆。 对于劳动市场,通胀将以一种干扰器的方式在三五年的中期带来影响,但现在还难以判断干扰将持续多久,这是因为我们猜不透货币当局究竟将以多快的速度拧上龙头;在更大的时间跨度上,形势反而比较明朗:不出三年,所有年龄段、所有教育程度的劳动力供给都将开始绝对的下降,农村已不再能输出更多的劳动力,简言之,锅底即将朝天。 再过几年,最后一批以传统方式种地的农民将步入老年,传统农业将加速被规模化和企业化的新型农业所替代——若非受到土地产权制度的限制,这一过程原本会更早更快;届时,农村将反过来与城市争夺劳动力;一个显明的前景是,那些锁定在劳动密集产业而无法转移的资产,其价值将像阳光下的冰棍一样迅速融化。
饭文#51: 奶粉背后的劳动力市场变迁

奶粉背后的劳动力市场变迁
辉格
2008年9月21日

最近发生的奶粉事件,牵动着无数人的心,其中遭受最大打击的,无疑是中国六千多万婴儿的母亲们。对国产奶粉的信心被击溃之后,她们要么咬牙转向昂贵的进口奶粉,要么增加和延长母乳喂养,无论作何选择,都将加重她们的生活负担,而对于低收入家庭而言,这一负担原本就很沉重。

近年来,婴幼儿奶粉市场以近20%的高速度增长,而一些优势品牌的年增长率更高达一到三倍。这一高增长率的基础,是高速工业化带来的劳动力需求繁荣和剩余劳动力日(more...)

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奶粉背后的劳动力市场变迁 辉格 2008年9月21日 最近发生的奶粉事件,牵动着无数人的心,其中遭受最大打击的,无疑是中国六千多万婴儿的母亲们。对国产奶粉的信心被击溃之后,她们要么咬牙转向昂贵的进口奶粉,要么增加和延长母乳喂养,无论作何选择,都将加重她们的生活负担,而对于低收入家庭而言,这一负担原本就很沉重。 近年来,婴幼儿奶粉市场以近20%的高速度增长,而一些优势品牌的年增长率更高达一到三倍。这一高增长率的基础,是高速工业化带来的劳动力需求繁荣和剩余劳动力日渐枯竭的共同结果,劳动供给从过剩到紧缺的转变大幅提高了劳动价格,从而提高了哺乳的机会成本,诱使越来越多的妇女放弃或缩短母乳喂养而转向婴幼儿奶粉等母乳替代品。据统计,中国婴儿出生四个月以内的纯母乳喂养率从1998年的76%降至2004的64%,而城市更比农村低十几个百分点。 这一趋势与其他国家工业化进程中的变化相一致,欧美国家在二战期间和战后重建年代,妇女大量进入劳动市场,而哺乳率正是从那时开始迅速下降。与身负襁褓忙碌于田间的农妇相比,车间和办公室的环境和作息纪律显然不适合哺乳,对于她们,长时间纯母乳喂养的代价是暂停甚至失去工作,而对于刚刚脱离了自给自足经济而进入什么都要花钱买的城市货币经济的她们来说,失去工资收入是无法接受的。所以,随着工业化和城市化的加速,尽管过去二十多年来世界卫生组织和联合国儿童基金会始终在大力推动母乳喂养,但全球哺乳率仍降到了40%以下,而美国更低至30%。随同哺乳率一起下降的是哺乳期长度,传统社会长至一两年的哺乳期在工业化之后普遍缩短到几个月。 而在中国,城市化正以每年1%的速度推进,每年一千多万人进入城市,也就意味着有上百万母亲转用新的方式喂养她们的婴儿。城市的密集居住加深了分工和货币化,人们宁愿用货币收入购买服务而非自己动手,家电的普及和工资的上升更强化了这一趋势,专职家务劳动不再是必须的,而居家主妇已成为一种奢侈,只有高收入阶层才负担得起。因此,哺乳率不可避免的随工业化进程而下降,只有当收入水平提高到相当程度之后,在很多人能够负担得起已变成奢侈品的母乳喂养之后,哺乳率才可能重新上升。这就解释了为何世卫组织大力推行的母乳喂养运动在发达国家成效显著,而在发展中国家则难以扭转局面。 这一成本变迁意义重大,正是育儿机会成本的大幅上升从根本上扭转了生育意愿和人口形势,导致发达国家充分工业化之后生育率普遍降至替代水平之下。在工业作息制度消除了妇女零星时间和育儿便利性之后,她们不得不用纸尿裤、奶粉、洗衣机、保姆和托儿所来替代,而她们对孩子未来的期望也受城市文化的影响而大幅提升,良好的教育和发展才华的机会从奢望变为必需。所有这些,大大提高了每个孩子的抚养成本,从而降低了家庭的生育意愿,把生育策略从多生粗养转向少生精养。 城市化育儿方式创造了巨大的奶粉需求,无良厂商为抢占迅速扩大的市场不惜将质量和安全标准降低到不堪入目的地步,最终酿成大祸。奶粉事件严重打击了母亲们对婴儿食品的信心,她们做选择时会变得更加谨慎,无论转向价格高出数倍的进口奶粉,还是延长哺乳期,都将是个沉重的负担,足以让未来的父母重新评估育儿成本,对于占人口多数的中低收入家庭,这一影响绝非微不足道,它将推动生育意愿进一步下滑。