东亚论坛:安倍经济学第三支箭或将脱靶
2014-05-20 16:18:09
东亚论坛:安倍经济学第三支箭或将脱靶(2014.05.20)

  提要:今年年初,日本首相安倍晋三公布了33项结构性改革法案,主要涉及促进创新、减少水稻种植补贴、提高劳动力市场灵活性以及增强电力行业竞争度四大领域。结构性改革是安倍经济学“第三支箭”,这些法案有望全部获得日本国会的批准,但其对日本经济的影响可能非常有限。要想让至关重要的第三支箭取得成功,日本需要降低通胀预期,从而显著增强人们对日本实际经济增速的预期。为此,安倍政府需要通过促进女性就业和产品市场放松管制来提升日本经济增长潜力。

  (外脑精华·北京)安倍经济学第三支箭

  今年年初,日本首相安倍晋三公布了一系列结构性改革法案,这是安倍经济学战略的一个组成部分。结构性改革是安倍经济学中的“第三支箭”,而且意味着前两支箭(宽松货币政策和财政刺激)取得了成功。

  虽然宽松货币政策和财政刺激计划提振了企业信心,并且促使日经指数创下最大涨幅,日本经济前景依然面临一系列风险。由于全球市场以及美国市场的增速放缓,日本的出口市场出现萎缩。此外,日本人口老龄化态势将持续,而且将造成日本劳动力人口锐减以及潜在增速下滑。此外,虽然日本折年通胀率达到了1.5%,但资增长一直乏力。

  化解这些现实问题的最佳方法是政府祭出一支强有力的第三箭,并且推动日本整体增长潜力的提升。在今年1月份,安倍政府向日本国会提交了一份含有30多项内阁提议法案的“行动计划。这些法案是第三箭的一部分,旨在通过促进电力行业的竞争、强化企业治理和建立经济特区来培育新的商机和吸引外国直接投资、加强对女性员工育儿假的财政支持以及创建一家日本国家卫生研究所。

  虽然日本消费税上调而且日经指数有所下跌,安倍政府仍然是民心所向,而且牢牢掌控着国会两院。这项行动计划中的所有法案有望在本届日本国会到期的6月22日前获得批准通过。其中只有约三分之一的法案会产生重大影响。这些法案可分为以下四大类:促进创新、减少水稻种植补贴、提高劳动力市场灵活性以及增强电力行业竞争度。

  安倍政府希望促进创新和增强竞争度,而且加强产业竞争力法案在去年12月份获得批准通过,并且在今年1月份正式生效实施。

  安倍政府同时正在开始同根深蒂固的大米农户游说团体展开斗争。两项相关法案将使执行了40年的大米价格补贴制度被取消,取而代之的是给水稻种植量受限农户提供补偿的政策。这就是说,大米农户游说团体正在试图用一项新的补贴方案来替代旧的补贴方案。为了提高劳动力市场灵活性,安倍政府提交了旨在提高劳动力劳动参与率的五项内阁法案。这些法案旨在禁止企业对妇女和外国人的实施歧视性待遇以及提高兼职工人、临时工和合同工等非传统工人的福利待遇水平。

  而且为了提高电力行业的竞争度,安倍政府提交项关于在2016年开放零售电市场的内阁法案。安倍政府正在试图通过继续实施其既定计划来打破区域公用事业单位的垄断。安倍政府希望藉此来促进创新、竞争和提高可再生能源的利用率。

  在将于6月份卸任的本届日本国会批准这些内阁法案前,日本政府所能实施的举措有限。反对派阻挠安倍晋三立法议程和诋毁其声誉的行动以失败告终。安倍政府继续牢牢牢控制着国会两院,日本民主党和其他反对党缺乏凝聚力,而且未能有效地打造出一个中心纲领。

  安倍政府需要推出更多结构性改革方案

  虽然所有这些法案都将获得国会批准通过,而且将对安倍晋三第三支箭的实施做出贡献,但仅仅推行这些法案还远远不够。要想让至关重要的第三支箭取得成功,需要通过降低通胀预期来推动对实际经济增速的预期大幅提升。安倍政府要想取得上述成果,应采取的明智之举是通过促进女性就业和消除对产品市场的监管来提升日本经济增长潜力。

  超过60%的日本女性职员在生育第一胎时会退出职场,从而使得日本男性的劳动参与率比女性高出21个百分点。如果日本女性就业率升至持平于过去20年中男性就业率水平,日本GDP将提高20%。由于近期内日本劳动力短缺问题凸显,促进女性就业人数的增长将是解决这一问题的关键。安倍政府已经推出了一些针对解决女性遭受工作歧视问题的法案,但必须在这方面付诸更大的努力。日本政府应该出台法规来要求企业公开披露包括重返就业岗位的妇女人数以及女性高管人数等家庭友善性劳动人口就业数据。

  安倍政府已经制定了将产出增速提高至2%的目标,这一增速远高于约0.75%的10年期均值水平。要想实现这一目标,日本政府必须通过对国内所有行业实施大刀阔斧的改革来提升经济增长潜力。尤其是,日本必须促进服务业劳动生产率水平的提高,这一点可以通过推行促进竞争的改革举措来实现。仅是通过减少豁免来强化反垄断法就能使得安倍政府的强化竞争政策显著升华。此外,降低准入壁垒将会推动日本非常欠缺的创业精神的提升和初创企业队伍的增长。

  日本政府1月份提交的行动计划中的所有33项法案有望全部获得日本国会两院的批准。但无论这些法案的重要性如何,其对日本经济的影响可能非常有限。要想使第三支前取得像前两支箭那样的成功,日本政府需要付出更多艰苦卓绝的努力。

  英文原文:Abe’s arrows may fall short of target

At the beginning of the year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government released a number of structural reform bills as part of his Abenomics growth strategy. The structural reforms are the 'third arrow' of Abenomics and are meant to compliment the first two arrows - monetary easing and fiscal stimulus.

Although the monetary easing and fiscal stimulus packages boosted business confidence and led to record gains in the Nikkei, there are still a number of risks to Japan’s economic outlook. Japan’s export market shrinks as the global market - and the US economy - continue to slow. Also, the ageing of Japan’s population will continue and take a serious toll on the workforce, leading to lower growth potential. Moreover, wage growth has been abysmal despite inflation rising at an annual rate of 1.5 per cent.

The best way to offset these realities is for the government to implement a strong third arrow and promote Japan's full growth potential.

In January, the Abe administration introduced an 'action plan' sending over 30 pieces of cabinet-endorsed legislation to the Diet. These bills are part of the third arrow and are designed to promote competition in the power sector, strengthen corporate governance, establish special economic zones to incubate new businesses and attract foreign direct investment, increase financial support for workers on childcare leave, and create a Japanese National Institute of Health.

Despite an increase in the consumption tax and some drops in the Nikkei, the Abe administration is still popular among the general public and has firm control over both houses of the Diet. All legislation from the action plan will likely be approved before the current Diet session ends on 22 June. Of the proposed bills, only about a third of them will have a significant impact. They can be broken into four broad categories: promotion of innovation, reduction in subsidies for rice cultivation, enhanced labour market flexibility, and increased competition in the power sector.

The Abe administration wants to foster innovation and increase competition, and the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act that was passed last December and put into effect in January does just that.

The Abe administration is also beginning its battle with the well-established rice farmers lobby. The two relevant bills will phase out the 40-year-old rice price support system by offering compensation in return for limiting the amount of land farmers use for rice cultivation. That being said, the rice farmers lobby is attempting to replace the old subsidies with a new subsidy program.

In order to enhance labour market flexibility, the Abe administration proposed five cabinet bills that aim to increase workforce participation. These bills are intended to prohibit discriminatory treatment of women and foreigners, as well as provide more benefits for non-traditional workers such as part-time workers, temporary workers, and contract workers.

And in order to promote competition in the power sector, the Abe administration proposed a cabinet bill which would liberalise the retail electricity market by 2016. The government is trying to continue its plan to break up regional utility monopolies. It hopes that by doing so it will promote innovation, competition, and increased use of renewable energy sources.

There isn't much that can be done to derail the passage of the cabinet bills before the Diet session ends in June. The opposition's effort to obstruct Abe's legislative agenda and undermine his popularity has failed. Abe's government continues to hold firm control over both houses of the Diet, as the Democratic Party of Japan and other opponents are unorganised and ineffective at creating a central message.

Although all of these bills will pass and make a contribution to Abe's third arrow, there is much more that needs to be done. For the crucial third arrow to be seen as a success, there needs to be a significant rise in forecasts of real future growth, followed by lower inflation expectations. In order for the Abe administration to see these results, it would be wise of them to encourage Japan's growth potential by enabling female employment and removing product market regulations.

More than 60 per cent of women leave the workplace when they give birth to their first child, and as a result male labour force participation is a full 21 per cent higher than that of women. If female employment rates were to increase to the same level as males over the next 20 years, it would result in a jump in GDP of up to 20 per cent. As Japan's labour shortage looms in the near future, greater involvement of women will be critical in addressing this problem. The Abe administration has introduced a few bills that address female discrimination in the workplace, but more must be done. Companies should be required to publicly report on their family-friendly workplace practices, including on the number of mothers who return to work and the number of women in senior management.

The Abe administration has set a target of increasing output growth to 2 per cent, well above the ten-year average of 0.75 per cent. In order to reach this goal, the Japanese government must propose bold structural reforms in all sectors that optimise growth potential. In particular, Tokyo must boost productivity in the service sector, which can be accomplished through reforms to strengthen competition. By simply reducing exemptions to the Anti-Monopoly Act, the Abe administration would be making significant upgrades to its competition policy. Furthermore, reducing entry barriers would promote entrepreneurship and business start-ups - both of which Japan sorely lacks.

Abe will likely see all 33 of the bills associated with his January action plan receive approval from both houses of the Diet. But no matter the importance of the bills, their impact on Japan's economy will likely be limited. Much more needs to be done by the Japanese government in order to make the third arrow as successful as the first two.

Stephen Stapczynski is a Public Affairs and Public Relations Associate at the Sumitomo Corporation and the author of the Izakaya Politics blog on Japanese politics and US-Japan relations.

来源:东亚论坛,2014.5.9,作者:Stephen Stapczynski
作者:Stephen

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