2013년 6월 24일 월요일

[Sraffa-Hayek: 3/3] [Reading Sraffa's] A Rejoinder (1932)

※ Sraffa-Hayek exchange : Sraffa(1st of 3), Hayek(2nd of 3), and this one is the 3rd of 3.
※ This is just a reading note with some annotations and remarks of this reader added in trying to understand the article. Please refer to the above source to see the original.

* * *

This specimen of Dr. Hayek's manner of arguing is by itself such an eloquent illustration of my review that I am reluctant to spoil it by comments. I shall therefore confine my reply to the two "cardinal" questions, whilst for the other points referring the patient reader (if there be any) to my previous contribution.

The first question is whether, as Dr. Hayek asserts, the capital accumulated by “forced saving” will be, “at least partly” dissipated as soon as inflation comes to an end: “It is upon the truth of this point that my [Dr. H.'s] theory stands or falls.” My simple-minded objection was that forced saving being a misnomer for spoilation, if those who had gained by the inflation chose to save the spoils, they had no reason at a later stage to revise the decision; and at any rate those on whom forced saving had been inflicted would have no say in the matter. This appeal to common sense has not shaken Dr. Hayek: he describes it as "surprisingly superficial", though unfortunately he forgets to tell me where it is wrong. I must therefore make another attempt to follow him a little way into "profoundity".

I shall take up his argument[No. 3] at (a) the point where the inflation which has caused the accumulation of capital comes to an end.
  • (b) In order that the case may be comparable with Dr. Hayek's case of “voluntary saving,” inflation must have proceeded at a gradually decreasing rate until it ends just when the longest among the newly started processes of production begin to yield consumable products: (c) From that moment onwards the entrepreneurs will be able to meet their outgoings for current production and for maintenance of the increased capital entirely out of their receipts from sales, without need of any additional inflationary money.
※1: (“강제저축”에 대해 언급한) 하이에크의 주장을 거론하기 위해 (a) 자본축적을 유발한 물가상승이 멈추게 되는 지점을 짚어보겠다. (b) (애초에 물가상승 덕에 자본축적이 유발되었다가 다시 물가상승이 멈추는) 이 상황이 (물가상승을 유발하지 않는) 하이에크의 “자발적 저축”처럼 진행되려면, 물가가 오르는 동안 물가상승률이 점차로 하락하다가 (자본축적과 함께) 새로 도입된 생산과정들 가운데 가장 우회도가 높은 생산과정들이ㅡ연쇄적 산업연관을 거쳐서ㅡ소비재를 생산하기 시작할 바로 그 시점에 물가상승이 멈추면 된다[‘멈춰야 한다(must have proceeded)’를 이렇게 바꿔 읽어보자]. (c) 이 지점부터 기업가들은 당기 생산을 가동하고 축적된 자본(늘어난 자본량)을 유지하는 데 필요한 현금지출을 매출에서 얻는 현금수입으로 전부 다 충당할 수 있다. 물가상승을 유발하는 추가적 통화량이 더 공급되지 않아도 가능하다는 얘기다.
  • (d) This, of course, as Dr. Hayek says, is possible “only so long as wages [i.e., incomes] have not risen in proportion to the additional money which has become available for investment.[3] 
이것(to meet their outgoings for current production and for maintenance of the increased capital entirely out of their receipts from sales, without need of any additional inflationary money)이 가능하려면, 하이에크가 말하는 대로 임금[즉 소득 (스라파의 지적)]이 투자에 들어가는 통화량의 증가 비율만큼 오르지 않아야만 한다.
[3] Hayek, "Money and Capital: A Reply", Economic Journal, vol. 42, June 1932, p. 242. 
And now we reach the point of the dispute: (e) Ultimately, incomes must rise in that proportion, since even the money used for the purchase of capital goods must ultimately be paid out to the factors which make these new capital goods. I contend that this will not happen.
※ 하이에크와 의견이 갈리는 지점은 바로 그의 다음 주장이다. (e) “종국적으로 소득은 통화량이 늘어난 비율만큼 상승할 수밖에 없다. 왜냐하면 새 자본재 구매에 들어간 돈이 결국에는 새로 구매되는 자본재의 생산요소들에게 지불될 수밖에 없기 때문이다.” 이런 일[소득이 통화량 증가 속도만큼 상승하는 사태]은 일어나지 않는다
  • Once more Dr. Hayek himself provides me with the argument against this theory, by appending here his footnote: “Except for such amounts as may be absorbed in cash holdings in any additional stages of production.” 
※ 하이에크가 바로 뒤에 붙인 각주가 바로 그 이유다. “[늘어난 통화량 가운데] 새로 추가된 생산단계들의 ‘cash holdings(하이에크가 표현한 용어)’로 흡수되는 돈은 예외다.” [즉, 그러한 돈은 생산요소에 지불되지 않으며 따라서 소득 상승을 유발하지 않는다는 얘기일 것.]
  • Exactly:  and if Dr. Hayek has taken as much pains in writing his book as his reviewer has taken in reading it[,] he would remember [:]

    (1) that under his assumptions such cash holdings will absorb not merely certain exceptional amounts, but the whole of the additional money issued during the inflation ;
    (2) that consequently incomes cannot rise at all, and there will be no occasion for any dissipation of capital.
Let me remind him that he has assumed in his book [:]
  • (1) that capital will be accumulated in proportion to the quantity of money issued in the form of loans to producers; 
  • (2) that the number of stages of production will increase in proportion to the quantity of capital; 
  • (3) that the quantity of payments to be made will increase in proportion to the number of stages: 
  • as a result, [that] the quantity of payments to be made increases in proportion to the quantity of money, and the whole of the additional money is absorbed in cash holdings for performing such payments.

It may be noticed as a curiosity that in the world assumed by Dr. Hayek, inflation through credits to producers, while it leaves money incomes unchanged, brings about a positive ^fall^ in the prices of consumers' goods. (As this may sound incredible, perhaps even to Dr. Hayek, compare in Prices and Production, Fig. 2, p. 40, which represents the initial position, with Fig. 4, p. 50, which represents the situation at the end of the inflation: the aggregate money value of the mass of consumers' goods is unchanged, but their quantity being larger after the inflation, prices per unit must be lower. See also pp. 51-2.)

After this Dr. Hayek will allow me not to take seriously his questions as to what I "really believe." Nobody could belive that anything that logically follow from such fantastic assumptions is true in reality. But I admit the abstract possibility that conclusions deduced from them by faulty reasoning may, by a lucky accident, prove quite plausible.

I have only a few words to add on the second cardinal question, that of "money" and the "natural" rate of interest[No. 4]. Dr. Hayek's ideal maxim for monetary policy, like that of Wicksell, was that the banks should adopt the "natural" rate as their "money" rate for loans: the only obstacle which he saw was the difficulty of ascertaining in practice the level of the "natural" rate (p. 108 of the book). I pointed out that only under conditions of equilibrium would there be a single rate; and that when saving was in progress there would be at any one moment be may "natural" rates, possibly as many as there are commodities; so that it would be not merely difficult in practive, but altogether inconceivable, that the money rate should be equal to "the" natural rate. And whilst Wicksell might fall back, for the criterion of his "money" rate, upon an average of the "natural" rates weighted in the same way as the index number of prices which he chose to stabilise, this way of escape was not open to Dr. Hayek, for he had emphatically repudiated the use of averages. Dr. Hayek now acknowledgs the multiplicity of the "natural" rate, but he has nothing more to say on the specific point than that they "all would be equilibrium rates." The only meaning (if it be a meaning) I can attach to this is that his maxim of policy now requires that the money rate should be equal to all these divergent natural rates.

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