Opinion

欧元区如何避免重蹈日本覆辙

与其呼吁欧洲央行采用另一套政策,不如要求成员国政府做出努力,关键是要把货币政策、财政政策以及结构性政策有机地结合起来

By: Date: May 16, 2016 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Disclaimer: This is a Chinese translation produced by Caixin based on the article “ECB decisions put lack of fiscal union in the spotlight”.

caixin

欧洲央行近年来一直在为实现2%的欧元区通胀目标采取大胆的措施,但是,近来,其政策开始让人觉得有些“拼命”。欧元区和欧洲央行面临同样的问题:财政政策和结构性政策并没有发挥作用,仅依靠货币政策并不足以带来实打实的复苏和通胀。

这并不应该令人感到奇怪。在通胀预期较低且利率已接近零或为负时,要通过货币政策来改变通胀预期很困难,除非采用某种形式的“直升机撒钱”策略,比如直接将欧洲央行印出的钱转到百姓的银行账户里。但是,这样的策略本质上是政府对公民的财政转移支付,尽管奏效,但需先获得民主合法性及政治支持。

标准的宏观经济学理论告诉我们,在低通胀、陷于流动性陷阱的环境下,货币政策的效力会大打折扣。日本安倍经济学就证明了这一点:日本央行的大规模资产购买计划并未显著提升通胀预期,财政及结构性政策进展缓慢,阻碍了其通胀和经济增速的提升。关键是要把货币政策、财政政策以及结构性政策有机地结合起来。

结构性政策可以发挥决定性作用。通过增强投资吸引力,提高投资边际回报,政府可以促进私人部门的投资,缩小过高的储蓄率与过低的投资率之间的缺口。然而结构性改革的障碍在于,它可能带来输家。例如服务业自由化改革将令服务业领域的投资更具吸引力,并创造新的就业机会,却会损害目前受监管保护机构的利益。很多欧元区国家在这些方面有一些进展,但与官方宣称的目标还存在很大差距。

基于此,财政政策是值得审视的另一个重要政策手段。在欧元区,财政政策几乎没有为促进经济复苏发挥任何作用,也没有为欧洲央行实现其通胀目标提供任何支援。欧元区需要一个整体性框架,定义各成员国财政政策在促进欧元区经济稳定中应该发挥的作用。在近期为法国经济顾问委员会撰写的一篇论文中,我与合作者提出了四点建议:

首先,在当前这样的特殊时期,各成员国政府必须协调各国财政政策使欧元区整体能维持足够积极的财政立场。欧元区98%的政府支出来自各国政府,而非欧盟层面,因此,为保持经济稳定,成员国政府协调财政政策至关重要。这要求仍有财政空间的成员国要积极为提升增长、推高通胀做出努力。北欧包括德国在内的几个经济体尤其需要达到更高的通胀率。

第二,我们提议,在给债务状况不可持续的成员国提供援助计划时,应该将债务到期偿还期限自动延长两年。这一举措固然需要一个稳固的欧元区金融体系作为支撑,但是,也需防范已经在希腊出现的适得其反的财政整固调整,在未来再次出现。

第三,各成员国的财政政策需要变得更稳固、更可持续。只有在经济较好时期,财政政策保持审慎,才有能力在经济下行期扮演缓冲器的角色。当前情况下,债务水平较高的成员国进一步采用财政宽松举措是不明智的。

最后,欧元区需要建立额外的风险共担机制,以应对重大冲击。欧洲失业再保险机制的建立可以很好地补充目前已有的风险共担政策框架,帮助应对严重的经济衰退。这也可以成为欧洲劳动力市场进一步结构性融合的起点。

欧洲央行为提高通胀和稳定经济正在采取的越来越“拼命”的政策尝试表明,其他政策领域并未跟上。与其呼吁欧洲央行采用另一套政策,不如要求成员国政府做出各自应有的努力。没有更为积极的财政和结构性政策,欧洲央行只能独自通过更大规模的量化宽松来提高通胀。只有采用更大胆的投资和改革计划,才能增强信心,创造更多工作岗位,帮助实现欧元区的通胀目标。否则,欧元区很可能重蹈日本覆辙。

 


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