诠释人类历史的一个概念性框架

李泽龙 原创 | 2007-07-28 09:50 | 收藏 | 投票

712,非常有幸参加了一场在经济管理学院(清华)举行的诺奖得主演讲,真的没有想到能够在经济管理学院能够目睹新制度经济学他爸道格拉斯·诺斯之风采,一位早过80多岁的美国著名经济学家。关于演讲的主要内容,其实在学院的网上早已公布,上面也附带了大师去年的最新合作。本来笔者打算把它翻译成中文,好让国内的学生一睹为快,也同时让读者“检验”一下笔者的英语翻译水平。但是万万没有想到,在论坛上,见到《比较》的一位编辑时,从她那得到消息,此文已经翻译了,哎!不愧是大师的作品,让人“捷足先登”啦!于是,我就要这位编辑把中文版(草稿)发到我的邮箱,让我瞧瞧,翻译人员太熟识了,因为经常看《比较》的每期前沿论文。水平的确不错,但是,笔者有个小“特长”,对数字特别“敏感”,一眼就扫到一个低级(事关常识嘛)错误(国内的很多所谓大家写的东东,经常会被笔者一眼把这样的小而低级的错误瞄出来,尤其是历史的年代,警告:别在我的面前玩你的历史水平,尤其是历史事件的发生年代,笔者年龄虽小,但是在这个浮躁的时代还是看了一点东东的哦!),道的获奖年份写错了,而且这是本篇论文唯一加上去的内容,因为道是不可能在自己的研究论文上去推销自己的诺奖的,也只有国内的人才这样干,不知道是处于何方目的?当然本文的推荐者,南京大学的一位教授的名字好象删掉啦,我想这应该是个很好的现象。

我也不知道为什么看人家的东西的时候,老是带着怀疑的眼光去看,也许是笔者过于狂妄了吧,总以为自己很了得起,别人就了不起哦;也许从学术的角度来看,这应该是个好的兆头,正所谓always question authority嘛!举个就发生在现场的例子吧:在这次讲演上,当然会少不了大量的各家著名媒体,其中有家媒体的编辑坐在我后面(前为白重恩教授经济系主任,右为《比较》编辑,左边的中间是钱颖一院长,主持为我的一个偶像李稻葵教授(正所谓的清华经济管理学院的三架马车全是哈佛博士毕业),她就顺手递给我他们的杂志(也算是推销吧,这么好的场合,我就这样对她直说,我的确很直哦),我很“顺情”地扫了一下,在第三页上就发现一个小错误,消息报道的是宗的杭州娃哈哈事件,前后两句共用一个“娃哈哈”,也就是说,后句缺主语(也许是小学的语文老师水平太高,也许是现在的生活节奏太快了吧?),当然还谈了一条花边新闻,关于美女希尔顿的坐牢奇闻以家代监狱。她肯定以为笔者很博学和善言,因为在他们的眼中,学生就不知道社会上的“花边娱乐”,(关于博学和才气,居然会有本科生和博士“妹妹”都会直接要笔者在教室当堂“书法”赠送之,真的好爽,还真有点李白边酒边诗边舞剑的雅致哦,有时候还真的觉得自己有“才华”(女人夸人还真都“一刀切,一风吹”哦),欣欣然而骄傲起来哦,My dear fans, I will to be superstar in Economic Profession?),没有想到因为这个,这位编辑第二天居然一大清早(我又在偷睡,去年也是这个时候,一“妹妹”呼我,搞的我现在还一直梦游好想研究一下miss or Missing Cycle, not the business cycle or Economic Cycle)给我一“大经济学家”的桂冠!要我给她翻译,编辑诺斯的一些文章,居然豪情邀请吃饭(真的很尴尬,我真的不是很喜欢与社会人吃饭,学校好说,食堂顶多10元搞定,尤其是跟一些学者到酒店“享受”,为什么尴尬呢?如果是我掏包(总不能看别人掏的时候,我傻坐着吧,或者把钱递过去却紧拽着不放哦),那可太惨,大放血,对于现在学习的我来说,真的很惨,比如去年与某位学者通电话,他当时居然在德国,还好是秘书接的,但是双向收费更惨,要漫游嘛!才说两句,就20多元不见啦,惨哦。。。),花半天时间去朝阳吃饭?只有“借口”了,醉者之意不在酒。

中国的大多数“经济学家”肯定是媒体封的,其中有个学者去年也亲口跟笔者说过,当时我的确是诚意赞扬他,他却谦虚:我也有不懂的地方哦,我们都是媒体给炒(是否有放到锅里,笔者今天正烦了,电饭锅煮东西没有放水,最后成“炒饭”啦,烧了两个窟窿,以后只能全部在食堂吃饭了,也好,省得睡觉整天)起来的!这样的话,听过很多学者说过啦。(又侃点搞笑的,写这点东东时,冒出一个很讨厌的“老女人”,问我借电脑用,第一次我在与朋友(因为她有照片在网上)聊天时,她突然插近来,说什么搞不懂,你们这些人为什么老是喜欢跟大女生交往?管得还真宽的哦,我知道她不过是在吃醋吧,嫉妒人家女孩比较漂亮和有气质,旁边的一个工商管理的(我认识的一个很好的同学,长的特别帅的,上次看他在炒股票就认识的,他还很友善地帮助我整理了一天电脑,还拷了我很多日语和韩语歌曲,在这里对于他的学习时间表示歉意)男生也这样说这女的。我这个人很直,那你多大了?她就要我猜,我就毫不客气,至少70年的吧?鬼才信她78年的,垃圾!最垃圾的是,还在我面前直鸟叫什么我“硕博连读”(没有好感,或者说不漂亮,你是院长,我一见就讨厌,拿“文凭”乱晃的最讨厌),说句实话,我听这话最反感,尤其是在这个时候---大热天,还戴个鸟帽子的。在这么多同学面前真不好羞辱她,真是很难缠,为了敷衍一下,不得不给了电话(主动问要电话没有一个安好心的),因为当时很多同学在看,影响了人家学 ---我见过最反感和讨厌的老女人)。

 

NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES

A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR INTERPRETING RECORDED HUMAN HISTORY

Douglass C North

John Joseph Wallis

Barry R. Weingast

Working Paper 12795

http://www.nber.org/papers/w12795

NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

1050 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02138

December 2006

 

Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts and Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Research Associate NBER, and Visiting Scholar Hoover Institution, Stanford University; and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University. We gratefully acknowledge the comments we received in seminar presentations at the NBER-DAE Summer Institute, the University of Maryland, Stanford University, Washington University, the World Bank, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, New York University and Yale University. We thank the Freeman-Spogli Institute's Presidential Fund for Innovation in International Studies, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and the Bradley Foundation for their support. Comments from Roger Betancourt, Price Fish back, Stephen Haber, and Richard Sylla were also very helpful. Steve Webb has aided and abetted our efforts at every step of the way. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

. 2006 by Douglass C North, John Joseph Wallis, and Barry R. Weingast. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including . notice, is given to the source.

 

A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History

Douglass C North, John Joseph Wallis, and Barry R. Weingast

NBER Working Paper No. 12795

December 2006

JEL No. A0,K0,K22,N0,N4,N40,O1,O4,P0,P1,P16,P2

 

ABSTRACT

Neither economics nor political science can explain the process of modern social development. The fact that developed societies always have developed economies and developed polities suggests that the connection between economics and politics must be a fundamental part of the development process. This paper develops an integrated theory of economics and politics. We show how, beginning 10,000 years ago, limited access social orders developed that were able to control violence, provide order, and allow greater production through specialization and exchange. Limited access orders provide order by using the political system to limit economic entry to create rents, and then using the rents to stabilize the political system and limit violence. We call this type of political economy arrangement a natural state. It appears to be the natural way that human societies are organized, even in most of the contemporary world. In contrast, a handful of developed societies have developed open access social orders. In these societies, open access and entry into economic and political organizations sustains economic and political competition. Social order is sustained by competition rather than rent-creation. The key to understanding modern social development is understanding the transition from limited to open access social orders, which only a handful of countries have managed since WWII.

 

Douglass C North Barry R. Weingast

Department of Economics Hoover Institution &

Washington University Department of Political Science

One Brookings Drive; CB 1208 Stanford University

St. Louis, MO 63130 Stanford, CA 94305

batt@artsci.wustl.edu Weingast@stanford.edu

John Joseph Wallis

Department of Economics

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742

and NBER

wallis@econ.umd.edu

 

I Introduction

The fundamental question of economic history can be asked in two ways: how did a handful of countries achieve sustained rates of economic growth and development in the late 18th and early

19th centuries? or why have most nations failed to achieve sustained economic growth over the

last three hundred years? What historical process(es) have generated institutions in a handful of

countries capable of sustained economic development in the twentieth century, while most

countries still fail to develop thriving markets, competitive and stable politics, and cultures that

promote deep human capital accumulation for most of their populations? Economists have

thoroughly documented that no one factor explains economic development – not capital

accumulation, human capital, resource endowments, international trade, or geographical location

to name a few prominent examples. Instead, the complex ways that societies structure human

relationships – the institutions that shape economic, political, religious, and other interactions –

appear to be the key to understanding why some societies are capable of sustained economic and

political development (North 1981, 1990, Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson 2002, Greif 2005,

Rodrik, Subramian, and Trebbi 2004). What are the fundamental aspects of political and

economic institutions that vary across developed and non-developed societies?

 

We build our answer to the question on North’s (1991) observation that while institutions

frame all human behavior, it is through organizations that people carry out complex social

interactions. Understanding human development requires understanding how institutions shape

the kind of organizations available for sustainable human cooperation. Developed societies are

filled with a rich variety of complicated and sophisticated organizations capable of producing goods and services, carrying out research and development, and coordinating individual behavior

on a scale never before seen in human history.

 

The most powerful and central organization in any society is, of course, the state. Every

society has to solve the fundamental problem of providing social order. In the simplest terms,

human violence must be prevented or contained. Providing order is the primary function of a

state.

 

We sketch a conceptual framework, really the skeleton of such a framework, that

illuminates the central structures enabling human societies to order themselves. Sustaining

social order requires the development of a state organization capable of limiting violence, and

that requires that political and economic systems work in concert. The fundamental contribution

of our approach is integrating a theory of economic behavior with a theory of political behavior

by demonstrating how political systems manipulate the economy in order to sustain political

stability, limit violence, and provide social order.

 

Historically, societies have been ordered in three ways. The first social order dominated

pre-recorded human history: the primitive social order is a kind of hunter-gatherer society. The

second social order has dominated the last 10,000 years, what amounts to recorded human

history: limited access orders solve the problem of containing violence by political manipulation

of the economic system to generate rents by limiting entry to provide social stability and order.

As we show, violence jeopardizes the rents, so individuals who receive rents have an incentive to

suppress violence and to support the current regime. The third social order arose over the last

300 years: open access orders sustain social order through political and economic competition

rather than rent-creation. Open access orders have developed in about two dozen countries, and

all are both economically and politically developed.

附件: 新建_Microsoft_Word_文档_(4).doc (276992 字节)

附件: 诠释人类历史的一个概念性框架.doc (288256 字节)

附件: eptual_framework_for_interpreting_recorded_human_history.pdf (172729 字节)

个人简介
李泽龙(Ricardo Li),青年政治学者,1987年12月出生于雲城。著有《大国崛起的源泉》、《美国国务院史:权力与责任的匹配》(英文版)。 E-mail: Ricardo.Li@163.com
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