民粹主义者变得懂经济了?

花旗银行新兴市场经济部主管 戴维•卢宾 为英国《金融时报》撰稿
2019.07.01 12:00

自从鲁迪格•多恩布什(Rudiger Dornbusch)和塞巴斯蒂安•爱德华兹(Sebastian Edwards)合著了《民粹主义的宏观经济学》(The Macroeconomics of Populism)这本开创性著作以来,已过去了近30年。他们当时的结论是,民粹主义领导人的经济政策典型地不负责任。这些政府纠结于纠正他们眼里的社会不公这个目标,挥霍财政,对预算纪律或他们有可能耗尽国家外汇的情况毫不在意。

正因为无视基本的经济逻辑,他们的政策实验难免以通胀、资本外逃、衰退和债务违约的某种组合糟糕收场。20世纪70年代萨尔瓦多•阿连德(Salvador Allende)治理下的智利,或20世纪80年代阿兰•加西亚(Alan García)治理下的秘鲁,都很好地诠释了这个故事。

如今的民粹主义的宏观经济学似乎有所不同。当然,也仍然有一些民粹主义领导人的政策或多或少遵循了20世纪70年代和80年代的剧本。唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)可以被证明是其中之一,他在经济周期末段实行的财政扩张政策似乎没有经济理论基础;还有一些人认为,雷杰普•塔伊普•埃尔多安(Recep Tayyip Erdogan)可能是另一个例子。

但一个更有趣的现象是,推行相当自律的经济政策的民粹主义领导人数量明显增加。

以墨西哥总统安德烈斯•曼努埃尔•洛佩斯•奥夫拉多尔(Andrés Manuel López Obrador)为例。奇怪的是,猛烈抨击新自由主义的他,在财政政策上似乎完全奉行紧缩理念。他的2019年预算目标是实现相当于国内生产总值(GDP) 1%的盈余(扣除利息支付之前),按照目前的计划,他还打算将明年的盈余增至GDP的1.3%。他维护了央行的自主权,至少到目前为止,他的整体宏观经济框架绝不是革命性的。

匈牙利总理奥尔班•维克多(Viktor Orban)提供了又一个保守民粹主义的案例。在他的主政下,预算赤字显著降低,使公共债务存量从2010年奥尔班上任那一年相当于GDP的74%,降至去年的68%。

这种对财政审慎优点的强调,在波兰也很明显,雅罗斯瓦夫•卡钦斯基(Jaroslaw Kaczynski)的法律与公正党(PiS)在过去几年以充分的纪律管理着公共财政,去年将债务/GDP之比压低至50%以下,这是自2009年来首次。

显而易见的问题是:自从多恩布什和爱德华兹的著作出版以来,这几十年里发生了什么变化?

答案之一是,当今的民粹主义者倾向于努力实现国家自立,这鼓励他们避免积累对外国资本的依赖。这一目标的实现是通过严控宏观政策,不守财政纪律的情况因而得以避免,以限制受外国影响所带来的脆弱性。

或许这是因为对当今的许多民粹主义者而言,“他们”(这些领导者眼里的敌人)往往在国外而不是国内。大致来说,全球化的力量——尤其是全球资本——是这些领导者面临的问题,而自立是与这些力量保持距离的唯一途径。例如,这有助于解释为什么奥尔班会如此积极地向匈牙利的外部债权人偿还债务。相反,他更依赖于向匈牙利家庭出售债券来为其财政赤字提供资金,即便这些债券的利率远高于他会向外国债权人支付的水平。这也有助于解释为什么在波兰的法律与公正党执政下,外国持有的国内债券减少了。2015年,外国投资者拥有波兰国内政府债务的40%,但现在只有26%。

换句话说,在当今的许多民粹主义者中,民粹主义和民族主义之间的界线模糊不清。民粹主义者花钱的冲动,似乎屈从于同世界其他国家保持距离的民族主义冲动。这种本能的完美例证是弗拉基米尔•普京(Vladimir Putin):他不一定是民粹主义者,但他的政府一直强调需要保持较低的公共支出,并建立稳固的财政缓冲。国家自立是俄罗斯政府的一种经济痴迷,并为那些希望让自己与国际金融隔离的其他国家提供了一种模式。

民粹主义宏观经济学发生这种变化的原因之一是经济灾难的历史后遗症。如果你是一位民粹主义领导人,而在你的国家,金融危机是活生生的国民记忆——比如说墨西哥、匈牙利和俄罗斯——你可能会因为害怕重蹈前任的覆辙而偏向保守主义。

但是,波兰、匈牙利、墨西哥和俄罗斯等国的民粹主义看起来不同的另一个原因纯粹与运气有关。匈牙利和波兰在地理上得天独厚:在被纳入欧盟以后,他们最近几年从布鲁塞尔获得的资金转移平均占GDP的3%至4%,也就是说,这些国家的民粹主义得到了其欧盟成员国资格的坚定支撑。洛佩斯•奥夫拉多尔享受着其前任的稳健宏观政策、加上美国经济蓬勃发展和美国低利率带来的好处。俄罗斯则有幸依靠石油出口。

运气的问题在于它会耗尽。所以也许现在还不是掩埋民粹主义旧宏观经济学的时候。但就目前而言,似乎可以说当今的许多民粹主义者都有意外强烈的经济纪律意识。

本文作者是花旗银行新兴市场经济部主管

译者/何黎

原文:The new macroeconomics of populism

By David Lubin

It is nearly 30 years since Rudiger Dornbusch and Sebastian Edwards published a seminal book, The Macroeconomics of Populism. Their conclusion back then was that the economic policies of populist leaders were quintessentially irresponsible. These governments, blinded by an aim to address perceived social injustices, specialised in profligacy, unbothered by budget constraints or whether they might run out of foreign exchange.

Because of this disregard for basic economic logic, their policy experiments inevitably ended badly, with some combination of inflation, capital flight, recession and default. Salvador Allende’s Chile in the 1970s, or Alan García’s Peru in the 1980s, capture this story perfectly.

These days, the macroeconomics of populism looks different. Of course there are populist leaders out there whose policies follow, more or less, the playbook of the 1970s and 1980s. Donald Trump may prove to be one of those, with a late-cycle fiscal expansion that seemed to have no basis in economic reasoning; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by some accounts, may be another.

But a much more interesting phenomenon is the apparent surge in populist leaders whose economic policies are remarkably disciplined.

Take Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. When it comes to fiscal policy, it is odd indeed that this fiery critic of neoliberalism seems fully committed to austerity. His budget for 2019 targets a surplus before interest payments of 1 per cent of GDP, and on current plans he intends to increase that surplus next year to 1.3 per cent of GDP. He has upheld the autonomy of the central bank and, so far at least, his overall macroeconomic framework is anything but revolutionary.

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban offers another example of conservative populism. Under his watch, budget deficits have been considerably lower than they had been previously, helping to push the stock of public debt down from 74 per cent of GDP in 2010, the year Orban took over, to 68 per cent last year.

This emphasis on the virtues of fiscal prudence is also visible in Poland, where Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s PiS has managed public finances with sufficient discipline in the past few years to push the debt/GDP ratio below 50 per cent last year, the first time this has happened since 2009.

The obvious question is: what has changed in the decades since Dornbusch and Edwards went into print?

One answer is that today’s populists tend to strive for national self-reliance, which encourages them to avoid building up any dependence on foreign capital. And since that goal is achieved by keeping a tight rein on macro policy, fiscal indiscipline is avoided in order to limit vulnerability to foreign influences.

Perhaps this is because the “them”, or the perceived enemy, for many of today’s populists tends to be outside the country rather than inside. Broadly speaking, it is the forces of globalisation — and global capital in particular — that are the problem for these leaders, and self-reliance is the only way to keep those forces at arm’s length. This helps to explain why, for example, Mr Orban has been so keen to repay debt to Hungary’s external creditors. He has relied instead on selling bonds to Hungarian households to finance his deficits, even though the interest rates on those bonds are much higher than he would pay to foreign creditors. It also helps explain why the PiS in Poland has presided over a decline in foreign holdings of its domestic bonds. Foreign investors owned 40 per cent of Poland’s domestic government debt back in 2015, but only 26 per cent now.

In other words, among many of today’s populists there is a blurring of the distinction between populism and nationalism. And the nationalistic urge to keep the rest of the world off your back seems to dominate the populist urge to spend money. The perfect example of that instinct is Vladimir Putin: not necessarily a populist, but his administration has been emphatic about the need to keep public spending low and to build solid financial buffers. National self-reliance is an economic obsession for the Russian government, and provides a model for other countries who wish to insulate themselves from international finance.

One of the reasons why the macroeconomics of populism have changed in this way is the historical legacy of economic disaster. If you are a populist leader in a country where financial crisis is part of living memory — as it is in Mexico, Hungary and Russia, say — you might do well to err on the side of conservatism for fear of repeating the mistakes of your predecessors.

But another reason why populism looks different for countries like Poland, Hungary, Mexico and Russia has to do with mere luck. Hungary and Poland, in particular, enjoy the luck of geography: having been absorbed into the EU, they have received financial transfers from Brussels averaging some 3-4 per cent of GDP in the past few years, so that populism in these countries has been solidly underpinned by the terms of their EU membership. Mr López Obrador is enjoying the inheritance of his predecessor’s sound macro policy, together with a buoyant US economy and low US interest rates. Russia has had the good fortune of oil exports to rely on.

The thing about luck is that it can run out. So maybe it’s not quite time yet to bury the old macroeconomics of populism. But for the time being, it seems true to say that many of today’s populists have an unexpectedly robust sense of economic discipline.

David Lubin is head of emerging markets economics at Citi.

发帖时间: news

发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。