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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第8章 学科类 Unit 95

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2019年01月24日

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Neither Oliver Williamson of the University of California at Berkeley nor Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University at Bloomington was widely tipped to win this year's Nobel Prize for economics.This may be because their work sits at the boundary of economics,law and political science,and tackles different questions to the ones that economists have traditionally studied.Mr.Williamson and Ms.Ostrom work independently of each other but both have contributed plenty to economists’ understanding of which institutions—firms,markets,governments,or informal systems of social norms,for example—are best suited for conducting different types of economic transactions.  
Ronald Coase,a British economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1991,argued that in some situations,and for some kinds of transactions, administrative decision-making within a single legal entity is more efficient than a straightforward market transaction.Mr.Coase's arguments were influential and convinced economists that the internal workings of organisations were worth paying attention to explicitly.But it was left to Mr.Williamson to refine Mr.Coase's theory and clarify what features of certain transactions made carrying them out more efficient within a firm rather than in the market.  
Mr.Williamson showed that complex transactions involving investment decisions that are much more valuable within a relationship than to a third party are best done within a firm.Part of the problem,he argued,was that some economic transactions are so complicated,and involve so many things which could go wrong,that writing a legally enforceable contract that takes all possibilities into account is impossible. Simpler transactions are completed easily in markets; more complicated ones may demand firms.But in later work he also showed that organising matters within companies had costs: in particular,it relied on internal authority to get things done,and this could be abused.  
Ms.Ostrom has concentrated on a different aspect of economic governance.She has spent her life studying how human societies manage common resources such as forests,rivers,pastures or wildlife.Just as with public goods,it is difficult to prevent people from using the commons.But unlike public goods,and like private ones,what one person takes leaves less for others.Economic theory then predicts that rational individuals will overuse these resources.  
Economists have tended to emphasise property rights as a solution to the problem of managing common resources.But Ms.Ostrom spent much of her early career studying how communities managed such common resources.She found that groups of people tended to have complex sets of rules,norms and penalties to ensure that such resources were used sustainably.Such self-governance often worked well.Successful informal institutions,she found,have certain features in common,which sets them apart from institutions that fail.The principles of game theory,particularly the theory of repeated interactions,proved remarkably useful in formulating general principles of how common resources ought to be managed without necessarily resorting to private or state ownership.  
Mr Williamson launched an entire branch of economic theorising which looks more deeply into firms than economists had tended to do previously.His theories have also helped with understanding the choice between equity and debt,and corporate finance more generally.Ms.Ostrom's research has spawned many experiments about how people interact strategically.Some of these have influenced game theory,which originally provided Ms.Ostrom with her analytical tools.  
注(1):本文选自Economist;  
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1~ 5题分别模仿2002年真题Text 4第1、2、4题和Text 3第3、5题。  
1.From the first paragraph we learn that ______.  
A) Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom were not considered candidates for the Noble Prize in Economics  
B) the research focus of Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom touches upon a variety of fields  
C) the works of Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom are irrelevant to the study of economics  
D) Elinor Ostrom is known as the first female winner of the Nobel Prize since its establishment  
2.Which of the following statements is TRUE according to the text?  
A) Williamson and Ostrom's winning the prize mainly attributes to their cooperation in research.  
B) Williamson has identified a series of factors which make the transactions in the market different from those within firms.  
C) Both Williamson and Ostrom address the question of economic transactions.  
D) It is commonly agreed among economists that transactions within firms tend to be more efficient.  
3.Ostrom and Williamson's researches show that ______.  
A) it is universally true that complex transactions are more efficient in companies  
B) to write a contract for complicated transactions is impossible  
C) the prediction about rational individuals overusing common resources is incorrect  
D) privatization is not necessarily the solution of problems about common resources  
4.Which of the following best defines the word“self-governance” (Line 4,Paragraph 5)?  
A) self-management.  
B) self-control.  
C) self-government.  
D) self-manipulation.  
5.We can draw a conclusion from the text that ______.  
A) their researches shed light on the future of cross-disciplinary social studies  
B) their researches help improve the research tools for economics  
C) their researches have tremendously revolutionized the field of economics  
D) their researches give people new insights into neglected problems  
 
美国加州大学伯克利分校的奥利弗·威廉森和印第安纳大学布鲁明顿校区的埃莉诺·奥斯特罗姆并不是今年诺贝尔经济学奖的热门人选。或许这是因为他们主要从事经济学、法学和政治学的跨学科研究,其研究问题与经济学家研究的传统问题不太一样。威廉森和奥斯特罗姆虽各自独立进行研究,但他们都对加深经济学家对于哪类组织——公司、市场、政府或者其他社会规范体系,更适合进行哪类经济交易的了解做出了很大贡献。  
1991年获诺贝尔奖的英国经济学家科斯认为:在某些情况下,就某种类型的交易而言,在单独的法人实体内部做出的行政决策比在市场上的直接交易更有效率。科斯的理论影响巨大,他使经济学家确信,直截了当地把注意力转到组织内部的运作才是值得他们做的事情。不过,是威廉森真正地将科斯的理论进行了细化发展,他进一步指出了某些交易的哪些特征会导致其在公司内部运作的效率优于在市场上的效率。  
威廉森证明了如果一些复杂的交易牵涉到投资决策,这种投资决策相比第三方来说对关联方具有更大的价值,此时该交易最好是内部进行。但他指出,这里的问题在于,某些经济交易如此复杂,牵涉到的容易出错的东西又如此之多,以至于要把所有的可能性都写进具有法律效力的合同是不可能的。简单一些的交易可在市场上轻松完成,而较为复杂的交易也许就需要公司的参与。不过,在其后期著作中,他也证明在公司内部组织交易是有成本的:特别是做事需要依靠内部权威,但权威有可能被滥用。  
奥斯特罗姆则主要研究经济治理的另一个方面。她毕生致力于研究人类社会如何管理诸如森林、河流、牧场或野生动植物等的公共资源。就像公共物品那样,要想阻止人们使用公共资源是很困难的。但是,与公共物品不一样而与私人物品一样的是,当有人使用公共资源时,留给其他人的资源就相应地减少了。经济理论由此预言,在这种情况下理性的个人会过度地使用这些共同资源。  
经济学家们一直倾向于强调用产权来解决公共资源的管理问题。但是奥斯特罗姆将其职业生涯早期的大部分时间用来研究某些团体会如何管理这些公共资源。她发现,这些团体倾向于建立一些系统的规矩、准则和处罚条例以保证这些资源能被可持续地使用,这种治理方法通常很奏效。她还发现,成功的非正式团体有一定的共性,这使其区别于那些不成功的团体。在这里博弈论的原则,特别是重复互动的博弈论被证明相当有用,有助于制定一些管理公共资源的通用规则而不是必须采取私有化或者国有化。  
威廉森创立了经济理论化的一整个分支,与此前的经济学家所做的研究相比,该分支更深入地考察了公司的内部运作。他的理论对我们更广泛地理解公司关于筹股还是借债的选择,以及公司金融也很有助益。同时,奥斯特罗姆的研究还引发了许多探讨人们如何战略性地互动的实验。有些实验还对最初给奥斯特罗姆提供分析工具的博弈论产生了影响。  
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