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首页 经济学的思维方式(第11版)(英文版)

经济学的思维方式(第11版)(英文版)

经济学的思维方式(第11版)(英文版)

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2009-04-29 0人阅读 举报 0 0 暂无简介

简介:本文档为《经济学的思维方式(第11版)(英文版)pdf》,可适用于人文社科领域

CHAPTERMicroeconomics,AWayofThinkingaboutBusinessIneconomicsinparticular,educationseemstobelargelyamatterofunlearningand“disteaching”ratherthanconstructiveactionAoncfamousAmericanhumoristobservedthat“it’snotignorancethatdoessomuchdamageit’sknowin’sodarnmuchthatain’tso”ItseemsthatthehardestthingstolearnandtoteacharethingsthateveryonealreadyknowsFrankHKnightrankKnightwasawiseprofessorThroughlongyearsofteachingherealizedthatstudents,eventhoseinadvancedbusinessprograms,beginningastudyofeconomics,nomatterthelevel,faceadifficulttaskTheymustlearnmanythingsinarigorousmannerthat,onreflectionandwithexperience,amounttocommonsenseTodothat,however,theymustsetasideor“unlearn”manypreconceivednotionsoftheeconomyandofthecourseitselfTheproblemof“unlearning”canbeespeciallyacuteforMBAstudentswhoarereturningtoauniversityafteryearsofexperienceinindustryPeopleinbusinessrightfullyfocustheirattentionontheimmediatedemandsoftheirjobsandevaluatetheirfirms’successesandfailureswithreferencetoproductionschedulesandaccountingstatements,aperspectivethatstandsinstarkcontrasttotheperspectivedevelopedinaneconomicsclassAsallgoodteachersmustdo,weintendtochallengeyouinthiscoursetorethinkyourviewsontheeconomyandthewayfirmsoperateWewillaskyoutodevelopnewmethodsofanalysis,maintainingallthewhilethatthereis,indeed,an“economicwayofthinking”thatdeservesmasteringWewillalsoaskyoutoreconsider,inlightofthenewmethodsofthinking,oldpolicyissues,bothinsideandoutsidethefirm,aboutwhichyoumayhavefixedviewsThesetaskswillnotalwaysbeeasyforyou,butweareconvincedthattherewardsfromthestudyaheadaresubstantialThegreatestrewardmaybethatthiscourseofstudywillhelpyoutobetterunderstandthewaythebusinessworldworksandhowbusinessesmightbemademoreefficientandprofitableMuchofwhatthiscourseisaboutis,oddlyenough,crystallizedinastoryofwhathappenedinaprisonerofwarcampTheEmergenceofaMarketEconomicsystemsspringfrompeople’sdrivetoimprovetheirwelfareRARadford,anAmericansoldierwhowascapturedandimprisonedduringtheSecondWorldWar,leftavividaccountoftheprimitivemarketforgoodsandservicesthatgrewupinhisprisonerofwarcampAmarketistheprocessbywhichbuyersandsellersdeterminewhattheyRARadford,“TheEconomicOrganizationofaPOWCamp,”Economica(November),ppFChapterTheEconomicWayofThinkingarewillingtobuyandsellandonwhattermsThatis,itistheprocessbywhichbuyersandsellersdecidethepricesandquantitiesofgoodsthataretobeboughtandsoldBecausetheinmateshadfewopportunitiestoproducethethingstheywanted,theyturnedtoasystemofexchangesbasedonthecigarettes,toiletries,chocolate,andotherrationsdistributedtothemperiodicallybytheRedCrossTheRedCrossdistributedthesuppliesequallyamongtheprisoners,but“verysoonaftercapturetheprisonersrealizedthatitwasratherundesirableandunnecessary,inviewofthelimitedsizeandthequalityofsupplies,togiveawayortoacceptgiftsofcigarettesorfoodGoodwilldevelopedintotradingasamoreequitablemeansofmaximizingindividualsatisfaction”Astheweekswentby,tradeexpandedandthepricesofgoodsstabilizedAsoldierwhohopedtoreceiveahighpriceforhissoapfoundhehadtocompetewithotherswhoalsowantedtotradesoapSoonshopsemerged,andmiddlemenbegantotakeadvantageofdiscrepanciesinthepricesofferedindifferentbungalowsApriest,forexample,foundthathecouldexchangeapackofcigarettesforapoundofcheeseinonebungalow,tradethecheeseforapackandahalfofcigarettesinasecondbungalow,andreturnhomewithmorecigarettesthanhehadbegunwithAlthoughhewasactinginhisownselfinterest,hehadprovidedthepeopleinthesecondbungalowwithsomethingtheywantedmorecheesethantheywouldotherwisehavehadInfact,pricesforcheeseandcigarettesdifferedpartlybecauseprisonershaddifferentdesiresandpartlybecausetheycouldnotallinteractfreelyToexploitthediscrepancyinprices,thepriestmovedthecamp’sstoreofcheesefromthefirstbungalow,whereitwasworthless,tothesecondbungalow,whereitwasworthmoreEveryoneinvolvedinthetradebenefitedfromthepriest’senterpriseAfewentrepreneursinthecamphoardedcigarettesandusedthemtobuyupthetroops’rationsshortlyafterissueandthensoldtherationsjustbeforethenextissue,athigherpricesAnentrepreneurisanenterprisingpersonwhodiscoverspotentiallyprofitableopportunitiesandorganizes,directs,andmanagesproductiveventuresAlthoughtheseentrepreneurswerepursuingtheirownprivateinterest,likethepriest,theywereprovidingaservicetotheotherprisonersTheyboughttherationswhenpeoplewantedtogetridofthemandsoldthemwhenpeoplewererunningshortThedifferencebetweenthelowpriceatwhichtheyboughtandthehighpriceatwhichtheysoldgavethemtheincentivetheyneededtomakethetrades,holdontotherations,andassumetheriskthatthepriceofrationsmightnotriseSoonthetroopsbegantousecigarettesasmoney,quotingpricesinpacksorfractionsofpacks(Onlythelessdesirablebrandsofcigarettewereusedthiswaythebetterbrandsweresmoked)Becausecigarettesweregenerallyacceptable,thesoldierwhowantedsoapnolongerhadtosearchoutthosewhomightwanthisjamhecouldbuythesoapwithcigarettesEvennonsmokersbegantoacceptcigarettesintradeThismakeshiftmonetarysystemadjusteditselftoallowforchangesinthemoneysupplyOnthedaytheRedCrossdistributednewsuppliesofcigarettes,pricesrose,reflectingtheinfluxofnewmoneyAfternightsspentlisteningtonearbybombing,whenIbid,pgChapterTheEconomicWayofThinkingthenervousprisonershadsmokeduptheirholdingsofcigarettes,pricesfellRadfordsawaformofsocialorderemerginginthesespontaneous,voluntary,andcompletelyundirectedeffortsEveninthisunlikelyenvironment,thehumantendencytowardmutuallyadvantageousinteractionhadasserteditselfToday,marketsfornumerousnewandusedproductsspringupspontaneouslyinmuchthesamewayAttheendofeachsemester,collegestudentscanbefoundtradingbooksamongthemselves,orstandinginlineatthebookstoretoresellbookstheyboughtatthebeginningofthesemesterGaragesalesarenowcommoninpracticallyallcommunitiesIndeed,likethepriestinthePOWcamp,manypeoplegotogaragesalestobuywhattheybelievetheycanresellatahigherprice,ofcourse“Dollarstores”havesprungupalloverthecountryforonepurpose,tobuythesurplusmerchandisefrommanufacturersandtounloaditatgreatlyreducedpricestowillingcustomersThereareevenfirmsthatmakeamarketingettingrefundsforotherfirmsonlateovernightdeliveriesManyfirmsdon’tthinkitisworththeirtimetoseekrefundsforlatedeliveries,mainlybecausetherearen’tmanylatedeliveries(becausetheovernightdeliveryfirmshaveaneconomicincentivetoholdthelatedeliveriesincheck)However,thereareobviouslyeconomiestobehadfromotherfirmscollectingthedeliverynoticesfromseveralfirmsandsortingthelateonesoutwiththerefundssharedbyallconcernedToday,westandwitnesstowhatisanexplosionofatotallyneweconomyontheInternetthatmanyofthestudentsreadingthisbookwill,likethepriestinthePOWcamp,helpdevelopMorethantwohundredyearsago,AdamSmithoutlinedasocietythatresembledthesePOWcampmarketsinhisclassicWealthofNations(seethe“Perspective”onSmithpageafternext)Smith,consideredthefirsteconomist,askedwhymarketsariseandhowtheycontributetothesocialwelfareInansweringthatquestion,hedefinedtheeconomicproblemTheEconomicProblemOurworldisnotnearlyasrestrictiveasRadford’sprison,butitisnoGardenofEden,eitherMostofusareconstantlyoccupiedinsecuringthefood,clothing,andshelterweneedtoexist,tosaynothingofthosethingswewouldonlyliketohaveatapedeck,anightonthetownIndeed,ifwethinkseriouslyabouttheworldaroundus,wecanmaketwogeneralobservationsFirst,theworldismoreorlessfixedinsizeandlimitedinitsresourcesResourcesarethingsusedintheproductionofgoodsandservicesThereareonlysomanyacresofland,gallonsofwater,trees,rivers,windcurrents,oilandmineraldeposits,trainedworkers,andmachinesthatcanbeusedinanyoneperiodtoproducethethingsweneedandwantWecanplantmoretrees,findmoreoil,andincreaseourstockofhumantalent,buttherearelimitsonwhatwecanaccomplishwiththeresourcesatourdisposalChapterTheEconomicWayofThinkingEconomistshavetraditionallygroupedresourcesintofourbroadcategories:land,labor,capital(alsocalledinvestmentgoods),andtechnologyTothislistsomeeconomistswouldaddafifthcategory,entrepreneurialtalentTheentrepreneuriscriticaltothesuccessofanyeconomy,especiallyifitreliesheavilyonmarketsBecauseentrepreneursdiscovermoreeffectiveandprofitablewaysoforganizingresourcestoproducethegoodsandservicespeoplewant,theyareoftenconsideredaresourceinthemselvesOursecondgeneralobservationisthatincontrasttotheworld’sphysicallimitations,humanwantsaboundYouyourselfwouldprobablyliketohavebooks,notebooks,pensandacalculator,perhapsevenacomputerwithagigabyteworthofRAMandangigabyteharddiskdriveAstereosystem,acar,moreclothes,aplanetickethome,aseatatabigconcertorballgameyoucouldprobablygoonforalongtime,especiallywhenyourealizehowmanybasics,likethreegoodmealsaday,younormallytakeforgrantedInfact,mostpeoplewantfarmorethantheycaneverhaveOneoftheunavoidableconditionsoflifeisthefundamentalconditionofscarcityScarcityisthefactthatwecannotallhaveeverythingwewantallthetimePutsimply,thereisn’tenoughofeverythingtogoaroundConsequently,societymustfaceseveralunavoidablequestions:WhatwillbeproducedMoregunsormorebutterMoreschoolsormoreprisonsMorecarsormoreart,moretextbooksormore“Saturdaynightspecials”Howwillthosethingsbeproduced,consideringtheresourcesatourdisposalShallweuseagreatdealoflaborandlittlemechanicalpower,orviceversaAndhowcanafirm“optimize”theuseofvariousresources,giventheirdifferentpricesWhowillbepaidwhatandwhowillreceivethegoodsandservicesproducedShallwedistributethemequallyIfnot,thenonwhatotherbasisshallwedistributethemPerhapsmostimportant,howshallweanswerallthesequestionsShallweallowforindividualfreedomofchoice,orshallwemakeallthesedecisionscollectivelyThesequestionshavenoeasyanswersMostofusspendourlivesattemptingtocometogripswiththemonanindividuallevelWhatshouldIdowithmytimetodaystudyorwalkthroughthewoodsHowshouldIstudyinthelibraryorathomewiththestereoonWhoisgoingtobenefitfrommyeffortsmeormymother,whowantsLandincludesthesurfaceareaoftheworldandeverythinginnatureminerals,chemicals,plantsthatisusefulintheproductionprocessLaborincludesanywayinwhichhumanenergy,physicalormental,canbeusefullyexpendedCapital(investmentgoods)includesanyoutputofaproductionprocessthatisdesignedtobeusedlaterinotherproductionprocessesPlantsandequipmentthingsproducedtoproduceotherthingsareexamplesofthesemanufacturedmeansofproductionTechnologyistheknowledgeofhowresourcescanbecombinedinproductivewaysChapterTheEconomicWayofThinkingmetosucceedAmIgoingtolivebyprincipleorbyhabitTakeeachdayasitcomesorplanaheadInabroadersense,thesequestionsarefundamentalnotjusttotheindividualbuttoallthesocialsciences,economicsinparticularScarcityistherootofeconomicsEconomicsisthestudyofhowpeoplecopewithscarcitywiththepressingproblemofhowtoallocatetheirlimitedresourcesamongtheircompetingwantsinordertosatisfyasmanyofthosewantsaspossibleMoretothepoint,itisawayofthinkingabouthowpeople,individuallyandcollectivelyinvariousorganizations(includingfirms),copewithscarcityTheproblemofallocatingresourcesamongcompetingwantsisnotassimpleasitmayfirstappearYoumaythinkthateconomicsisanexaminationofhowonepersonorasmallgroupofpeoplemakesfundamentalsocialchoicesonresourceuseThatisnotthecaseTheproblemisthatwehaveinformationaboutourwantsandtheresourcesatourdisposalthatmaybeknowntonooneelseThisisapointthelateLeonardReedmadedecadesagoinashortarticleintermsofwhatittakestoproduceaproductassimpleasapencil(seethereading“I,APencil”attheendofthechapter),anditalsoisapointthatFAHayekstressedthroughoutallofhiswritingsthat,ultimately,gainedhimaNobelPrizeineconomics(seethereading“TheUseofKnowledgeinSociety”inyourcoursepacket)Forexample,youmayknowyouwantacalculatorbecauseyourstatisticsclassrequiresyoutohaveone,andevenyourfriends(muchlessthepeopleatHewlettPackardorCasio)donotyetknowyourpurchaseplansYoumayalsobetheonlypersonwhoknowshowmuchlaboryouhave,whichisdeterminedbyexactlyhowlongandintenselyyouarewillingtoworkatvarioustasksAtthesametime,youmayknowlittleaboutthewantsandresourcesthatotherpeoplearoundthecountryandworldmayhaveBeforeresourcescanbeeffectivelyallocated,theinformationweholdaboutourindividualwantsandresourcesmustsomehowbecommunicatedtoothersThismeanseconomicsmustbeconcernedwithsystemsofcommunicationsIndeed,thefieldisextensivelyconcernedwithhowinformationaboutwantsandresourcesistransmittedorsharedthrough,forexample,pricesinthemarketprocessandvotesinthepoliticalprocessIndeed,the“informationproblem”isoftenacutewithinfirms,giventhattheCEOoftenknowslittleabouthowtodothejobsatthebottomofthecorporate“pyramid”Theinformationproblemisoneimportantreasonthatfirmsmustrelyextensivelyonincentivestogettheirworkers(andmanagers)topursuefirmgoalsMarketsliketheoneinthePOWcampandeventhefirmsthatoperatewithinmarketsemergeindirectresponsetoscarcityBecausepeoplewantmorethanisimmediatelyavailable,theyproducesomegoodandservicesfortradeByexchangingthingstheylikelessforthingstheylikemore,theyreallocatetheirresourcesandenhancetheirwelfareasindividualsAswewillsee,peopleorganizefirms,whichoftensubstitutecommandandcontrolstructuresforthecompetitivenegotiationsandexchangesofmarkets,becausethefirmsaremorecosteffectivethanmarketsFirmscanbeexpectedtoexpandonlyaslongastheyremainmorecosteffectivethancompetitivemarkettradesChapterTheEconomicWayofThinkingTheScopeofEconomicsMBAstudentsoftenassociateeconomicswitharathernarrowportionofthehumanexperience:thepursuitofwealthmoneyandtaxescommercialandindustriallifeCriticsoftensuggestthateconomistsareoblivioustotheaestheticandethicaldimensionsofhumanexperienceSuchcriticismisnotaltogetherunjustifiedIncreasingly,however,economistsareexpandingtheirhorizonsandapplyingthelawsofeconomicstothefullspectrumofhumanactivitiesThestruggletoimproveone’slotisnotlimitedtotheattainmentofmaterialgoalsAlthoughmosteconomicprincipleshavetodowiththepursuitofmaterialgain,theycanberelevanttoaestheticandhumanisticgoalsaswellTheappreciationofapoemorplaycanbethesubjectofeconomicinquiryPoemsandplays,andthetimeinwhichtoappreciatethem,arealsoscarceJacobViner,aneconomistactiveinthefirsthalfofthiscentury,oncedefinedeconomicsaswhateconomistsdoTodayeconomistsstudyanincreasinglydiversearrayoftopicsAsalways,theyareinvolvedindescribingmarketprocesses,methodsoftrade,andcommercialandindustrialpatternsTheyalsopayconsiderableattentiontopovertyandwealthtoracial,sexual,andreligiousdiscriminationtopoliticsandbureaucracytocrimeandcriminallawandtorevolutionThereisevenaneconomicsofgroupinteraction,inwhicheconomicprinciplesareappliedtomaritalandfamilyproblemsAndthereisaneconomicsoffirmorganizationandthestructureofincentivesinsidefirmsThus,althougheconomistsarestillworkingontheconventionalproblemsofinflation,unemployment,internationalmonetaryproblems,andpricingpolicies,theyarealsostudyingthedeliveryofhousingtothedisadvantagedorofhealthcaretotheveryyoungandtheelderlyInonewayoranother,today’seconomistsaretacklingawidevarietyofsubjects,includingcommitteestructure,thecriminaljusticesystem,firmpaypolicies,ethics,votingrules,andthelegislativeprocessBeforethisbookandcoursehavebeencompleted,muchwillbesaidofhowfirmslikeGeneralElectric,Microsoft,orNetscapecanbeexpectedtopricetheirproducts,andwewilltouchontheconditionsunderwhichfirmscanbeexpectedtogiveawaytheirproducts(orevenpaybuyerstotaketheirproducts)Infact,becauseweunderstandyourprofessionalgoalsforpursuinganMBAdegree,wewillneverpresenttheoryfortheory’ssakeWewill,ineachandeverychapter,showyouhowthetheorycanbeusedinpracticebymanagersWhatistheunifyingfactorinthesediverseinquiriesWhattiesthemalltogetheranddistinguishestheeconomist’sworkfromthatofothersocialscientistsEconomiststakeadistinctiveapproachtothestudyofhumanbehaviorTheyemployamodeofanalysisbasedoncertainpresuppositionsabouthumanbehaviorForexample,mucheconomicanalysisstartswiththegeneralpropositionthatpeopleprefermoretofewerofthosethingstheywantandthattheyseektomaximizetheirwelfarebymakingreasonable,consistentchoicesinthethingstheybuyandsellThesepropositionsenableeconomiststoderivethe“lawofdemand”(peoplewillbuymoreofanygoodatalowerpricethanatahigherprice,andviceversa)andmanyotherprinciplesofhumanbehaviorOnepurposeofthisbookistodescribethisspecialapproachinconsiderabledetailtodevelopinprecisetermsthecommonlyacceptedprinciplesofeconomicChapterTheEconomicWayofThinkinganalysisandtodemonstratehowtheycanbeusedtounderstandavarietyofprob

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经济学的思维方式(第11版)(英文版)

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