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「他人の経験」に学ぼうとする欧州労連

昨日のエントリーの詳細版です。

http://www.etuc.org/IMG/pdf_DO_NO_LET_THE_REAL_ECONOMY_DOWN_Oct_08.pdf

>Four lessons from Japan : How to avoid getting trapped into deflation

日本からの4つの教訓:いかにしてデフレの罠を避けるか

>At the beginning of the 1990s, Japan was facing a similar situation. An asset price bubble had developed and the Japanese private sector had massively built up debt to finance this bubble.

1990年代初頭、日本は似たような状況に直面していた。資産価格バブルがふくらみ、日本の民間部門はバブルをまかなうのに巨額の債務を積み上げていた。

After the Japanese central bank tightened monetary policy and had pricked the bubble, households were left with high debts and banks were facing bad loans in their portfolios.

日本銀行が金融政策を引き締め、バブルをつぶした後、家計には巨額の債務が残され、銀行は不良債権に直面した。

In the process of driving down debt back to reasonable levels, Japan made several policy mistakes. Its economy rapidly fell into deflation and got trapped in a situation of continuing low growth for more than a decade.

債務を適正な水準に下げる過程で、日本はいくつもの政策的な過ちをした。経済は急速にデフレに落ち込み、10年以上にわたる低成長状況に陥った。

Here are a number of lessons to learn for European policymakers from the Japanese debt deflation process.

ここにはヨーロッパの政策決定者が日本の債務デフレ過程から学ぶべきいくつもの教訓がある。

まず第1は、

>Make sure monetary policy wins the race against deflation. To drive down debt, the private sector starts to save more and to invest less. The slowdown in domestic demand drags down overall growth and creates overcapacity. Disinflation follows. If left uncontrolled and if interest rates are not cut in time to stabilise the economy and stop this trend, disinflation eventually turns into deflation. From that moment, the zero bound on nominal interest rates bites. Real interest rates start increasing again and monetary policy loses much, if not all of its power to stimulate the economy.

金融政策がデフレとの競争に勝てるようにすること。債務を減らそうとして民間部門は貯蓄を殖やし投資を減らすので、国内需要は減退し過剰設備となり、ディスインフレになる。それをそのままにして利子率を適切に下げなければ、ディスインフレはデフレとなり、名目利率がゼロ近くなっても実質利率は上昇し、金融政策は経済を刺激する力を失ってしまう。

>Japan indeed got stuck in such a liquidity trap (see Figure 2). From 1992 onwards, the Japanese central bank did cut interest rates from what had been extremely high levels – 8% interest rate with inflation running at less than 4%. Meanwhile, however, inflation started falling as well. Two years later, nominal interest rates were still at 2%, while inflation had turned to zero and then negative. By reducing interest rates too slowly, Japanese monetary policy had missed out on the opportunity to stabilise the disinflation process in time. Against this background, negative real interest rates were no longer possible and the Japanese economy paid the price for this outcome in the form of continuing slow growth.

日本はまさにこの流動性の罠にはまってしまった。

>Lesson No. 1:

The lesson to learn is to avoid inflation reaching zero before nominal interest rates can do so.

With the ongoing credit crunch triggering a standstill in the real economy, a strong disinflationary process can be expected. European central banks therefore need to engage in the race against disinflation and win this race by deciding deep and fast cuts in interest rates.

第1の教訓は、名目利子率がゼロになる前にインフレ率がゼロになるのを避けることだ。

第2は賃金の下落。

>Downward wage flexibility deepens and prolongs the deflationary trap. Depressed economic activity in itself weakens the bargaining position of workers and trade unions. In Japan, however, this weakening of workers’ bargaining position was exacerbated by the widespread existence of bonus systems at company level topping up regular or
conventional wages. Confronted with lacklustre demand for their products and services,
Japanese companies started to cut on workers’ bonuses. As a consequence, deflation got prolonged because both domestic demand and cost-push inflation were absent

賃金の下方弾力性はデフレの罠を深く長くする。日本の場合、ボーナス制度がこれを悪化させた。

>Lesson No. 2:
Today, many European economies are characterised by a downward wage rigidity from the moment at which wage growth reaches 2% (see Figure 3). This is actually a good thing: it provides a downward floor to the process of disinflation and thus contributes to maintaining price stability. European policymakers would therefore do well not to attack and dismantle those wage formation institutions delivering this downward rigidity in the form of minimum wages, sectoral collective agreements, legal extension of collective bargaining agreements and limitations at company-level opening clauses. If European policymakers decide otherwise and try to compensate for the lack of competitive devaluations of national currencies by engaging in competitive cuts of nominal wage levels, deflation processes would be made stronger
.

ヨーロッパ諸国を特徴づける賃金の下方硬直性は実にいいことだ。なぜならそのおかげでディスインフレに(それ以上下に行かない)「底」ができ、価格の安定に貢献するからだ。こういう有り難い賃金の下方硬直性を、攻撃したりなくそうとしたりしてはいけませんぞ。国際競争とか称して賃金を切り下げたりするとデフレが恐ろしいぞ。

第3は事態を悪化させる「構造改革」、またも日本が反面教師です。

>Some structural reforms make matters worse. Japan also responded to the continuing
slowdown by degrading its tradition of permanent and highly secure jobs. New entrants in the labour market, mainly women, were forced to accept so-called part-time jobs. This type of jobs, however, needs to be understood in the Japanese context: in Japan, a part-time job means a full-time working schedule paid at a part-time rate
.

日本もまた景気停滞に対して長期安定雇用を崩すことで対応しようとした。労働市場への新規参入者はパート労働を強いられた。日本の「ぱあとたいまあ」はパートの賃金で働くフルタイム労働者だ。

>This increase in precarious work also undermined the macroeconomic transmission channels. Any initial positive demand shock to the economy turned out to be weak and feeble since the benefits of the demand shock immediately went into profits and not into wages. Because of workers in precarious employment relationships having no bargaining power whatsoever, the multiplying effect of more jobs creating more purchasing power for workers and their households was no longer functioning.

不安定雇用の増加もマクロ経済に悪影響をおよぼす。

>Lesson No. 3:
The Japanese experience regarding precarious work also holds an important lesson for Europe. Indeed, in Europe, the use of precarious work is spreading in many different ways: jobs paying poverty wages, series of fixed-term contracts, agency workers paid unequal wages for equal work, involuntary part-time employment and fake self-employed people. Moreover, ongoing reforms – such as a backward revision of the Working Time Directive and misguided flexicurity reforms using the six weeks ‘grace’ period in the draft Temporary Agency Work Directive to organise a ‘revolving door effect’ – may be abused to accelerate precarious work practice in Europe. If this were to happen, the depression would be prolonged and the process of disinflation/ deflation would be prolonged.

ヨーロッパでも不安定雇用が拡大しつつある。このままではデフレが長引くだけだ。

>Avoid pro-cylical fiscal policy tightening and allow the public sector to compensate for private sector de leveraging. An economy going through a process of driving down private sector debt needs to compensate this by accepting a certain increase in public debt. If it does not accept such compensation, economic activity will suffer substantially. In the absence of public investments supporting aggregate demand, private sector efforts to increase savings and cut investments will undermine overall growth. In turn, depressed growth and rising unemployment will push deficits upwards. Fiscal policy turns procyclical if it tries to cut these deficits, thereby prolonging and deepening the slowdown. Japan again provides a telling illustration such a process. To cut the deficit and to keep public debt within limits, Japan decided to hike TAV rates in 1998. The results were catastrophic: the economic recovery was lost, economic growth decelerated sharply again and the Asian financial crisis was triggered.

景気循環に沿った財政引き締めを避け、公的部に民間部門を穴埋めさせよ。公共投資がなければ、民間の貯蓄増加と投資減少は経済成長を台無しにする。その代わりに、成長低下と失業増加が財政赤字を増大させる。日本はこの点でも反面教師だ。

>Lesson No. 4:
In Europe, the Stability Pact lays the foundations for another potentially vicious circle.
Depression pushes deficits up, fiscal policy reacts and more depression follows. Therefore, utmost care must be made when applying the Stability Pact. Certainly, in the present situation in which governments have rightly saved the banking system from collapsing by injecting massive amounts of capital, there is a high risk for policymakers to resort to pro-cyclical fiscal tightening. Instead, the Stability Pact needs to be applied with a high dose of flexibility to avoid such fiscal tightening.

ここはEUの文脈で「安定成長協定」の話です。

という風に、まだまだ続きますが、欧州労連、さすがに日本という「他人の経験」をよく学ぼうとしています。

しかし、「労働者の側に立つ」とか「社会民主主義」とかいうのは、経済政策においてこういうケインジアン的立場に立つことなんだよ、と未だに(それに反する思いこみ(とはいえ、日本においては知識社会学的現実でもある)に対して)説明しなければならないということ自体が徒労感ですが。

(追記)

なお、上記を読んでこられた方には言うまでもないことですが、理解の乏しい方もおられるようなので念のため一言。

こういう欧州労連の考え方は、言葉の正しい意味における「リフレ派」と呼ぶことは可能ですが、もちろんどこぞの国のネット上ではびこっているような、最低賃金の意義を否定し、積極的労働政策を馬鹿する、リフレ粉をちょいと振りかけただけのフリードマン教徒の揚げ塩さんたちとはその本質において正反対であることは言うまでもありません。「リフレ」というおまじないを唱えれば、みんな仲間というわけではないのです。

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>最低賃金の意義
「最低賃金に近い水準で働いている人が多数いる」という前提のない場合には、リフレ的な意味はあんまりないように思うのですが…

非正規の公務員を多く雇い、その名目上の賃金を上げれば、民間の名目上の賃金も上がるでしょう(公共事業でも似たようなことはできる)

投稿: tamutamu | 2008年11月 3日 (月) 20時11分

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