The Economist 日本語訳

Economistは英語学習に非常に役に立ちます。Economistの日本語訳サイトは少なく、または有料なものが多いので、自身の勉強のために、記事を翻訳することにしました。 現在英検1級、TOEICは930(2014)。乳飲み子ツインズ、幼児を1人抱えてますが、英語、極めれるよう努力するのみ。

大いなる安定 Oct 29th 2016

The greatest moderation

Has any country ever grown as repetitively as China?


 great moderation:《the ~》《経済》大平穏期◆国民総生産やインフレなどの経済指標の変動が小さい期間。


ON OCTOBER 19th China reported that its economy grew by 6.7% in the third quarter. It would have been an unsurprising, reassuring headline, except that China had reported exactly the same figure for the previous quarter-and for the quarter before that. This freakish consistency invited the scorn of China’s many “data doubters”, who have long argued that it fudges its figures. China has expanded at the same pace from one quarter to the next on numerous occasions. But it has never before claimed to grow at exactly the same rate for three quarters in a row.


Has anywhere? This growth “three-peat” is not entirely without precedent. Seven other countries have reported the same growth rate for three quarters in a row, according to a database spanning 83 countries since 1993, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company. The list includes emerging economies like Brazil, Croatia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, but also two mature economies: Austria and Spain. Indeed, Spain has performed this miracle of consistency twice. It grew by 3.1% (year-on-year) in the first three quarters of 2003 and by 4.2% in the first three quarters of 2006. Those were the days.

Those were the days.あのころはよかった

Contrary to popular belief, China’s GDP statistics have not always been unusually smooth. Since 1993, the average gap between one quarter’s growth and the next has been (plus or minus) 0.77 percentage points (see table). Fourteen countries, including America, have reported a smaller average gap. But in recent years, the zigzags in China’s growth have been less pronounced. Since 2012 only France and Jordan have enjoyed more stable growth (as measured by statistical variance, a common measure of volatility) and only Indonesia has recorded a smaller average gap between one quarter’s growth and the next.


Either China’s policymakers are newly successful at stabilising growth or its statisticians are newly determined to smooth the data. But if the number-crunchers are to blame, one wonders why they do not try harder to hide it.



働きすぎて Oct 15th 2016

Overdoing it

A new report shows how badly Japan needs labour reform


 LATE of an evening, Japan’s black-suited salarymen let their hair down in the streets of Shimbashi, a district of Tokyo. Shirts untucked, ties off, liquor flowing, they stagger around before heading home, or directly back to the office via a konbini (convenience store) to buy a clean shirt.


 let one's hair down くつろぐ

This is the harmless outlet for their stress: karoshi, or death by overwork, is the darker, and until recently, more overlooked one. This month the first ever government report into the scale of karoshi found that employees put in over 80 hours of overtime a month at almost a quarter of companies surveyed. At 12% of those firms the figure rose to a whopping 100 hours. These numbers may underestimate the problem; under a fifth of 10,000 companies contacted responded, which is a normal response rate, but firms with still worse overtime figures may have kept out of the study.


put in〔時間を〕費やす

Little wonder that 93 people committed or attempted to commit suicide in the year to the end of March 2015 because of overwork. These are the cases where the government has officially recognised that families are owed compensation; activists against karoshi reckon the number is too low. Other workers perish from heart attacks or strokes due to long hours. The latest high-profile case is a 24-year-old female employee for Dentsu, a Japanese advertising giant, who committed suicide in December.


 Things have got somewhat better in recent years; more overtime is paid, for example. But further steps are needed. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, says that changing the working style in Japan is one of the main aims of labour reforms that he plans to introduce next year. Yuriko Koike, the new governor of Tokyo, wants to improve the city’s work-life balance and has banned workers in her office from staying past 8pm.


But it remains hard to overhaul business practices when the culture values face time and dedication to the job far ahead of performance. “The company is like a big team. If I leave work early, someone else has to shoulder my work and that makes me feel terribly guilty,” says a 42-year-old IT worker who preferred to remain anonymous. It does not help that the shrinking and ageing of Japan’s population means labour shortages. And all this overwork does little for the economy, because (thanks to the inefficient working culture as well as low use of technology) Japan is one of the least productive economies in the OECD, a club of rich nations, generating only $39 dollars of GDP per hour worked compared with America’s $62. So the fact that workers are burning out and sometimes dying is pointless as well as tragic.


face time:


ハリケーン・マシューのもたらした惨状が人為的ミスにより悪化 Oct 15th 2016

The misery of Hurricane Matthew is deepened by human failure

Why Haiti did worse than Cuba in protecting its people



THE scene is appallingly familiar: entire towns in ruins; thousands of people without food, water or shelter; clothes and belongings strewn across the landscape; the dead buried in mass graves. Nearly seven years after an earthquake wrecked Haiti, killing perhaps 200,000 people, disaster has struck again. This time it was wind and waves that brought devastation.


in ruins:廃墟となって、荒廃して、破滅して

 Hurricane Matthew made landfall close to Haiti’s westernmost point, ripping across the Grand’Anse region before heading back into the Caribbean. The town of Jérémie, home to about 30,000 people, has been largely destroyed; perhaps 1,000 people have died.

landfall 山崩れ、地滑り、〔台風の〕上陸、陸地接近, 圧勝
westernmost 最西の


Like Jérémie, Baracoa in Cuba was devastated by Matthew’s winds of about 225kph (140mph). But unlike Jérémie, no deaths have been reported in Baracoa. Cuba’s communist government has a well-rehearsed drill. State-controlled media warn residents for days of approaching hurricanes; schools are closed and turned into shelters. State-owned buses are dispatched to evacuate residents. Local party snoops, known as the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution, with representatives on every block, make sure the elderly or infirm are not left behind.


In contrast with Cuba’s authoritarian state, Haiti’s government barely functions. The infrastructure is poor, with few solid buildings. Haiti’s media are chaotic. High crime rates mean residents refuse to leave their homes unattended.


authoritarian state 権威国家、権力国家

 “We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know what to do,” says Alexis Bernard, a 22-year-old man, sitting in the ruins of his now roofless house in the hamlet of Torbeck. Haunted by the earthquake of 2010, he feared being buried under falling masonry. He and 12 other members of his family, including a baby girl, spent the worst hours of the storm in the open. They survived with only minor injuries.


hamlet 村落

 Haiti’s interim president, Jocelerme Privert (elections to choose his successor were again postponed after the hurricane) says his government did its best: “We undertook an extensive campaign to make people aware, to mobilise them, to alert them to move away from the zones at risk. Had we not undertaken this I fear we would be looking at a higher death toll.”


 The aftermath of Matthew may prove even worse. Mr Privert has warned of the risk of “widespread famine”. The UN says 1.4m people need immediate assistance. One big worry is the spread of cholera, which the UN inadvertently brought to Haiti when Nepalese peacekeepers, infected with the disease, were deployed following the earthquake. About 10,000 Haitians have died of cholera since then. Much of the water supply in the hurricane-struck region risks being contaminated.


 Lewis Lucke, a former head of USAID in Haiti, notes another problem: unlike the earthquake, which destroyed buildings, the storm damaged fishing boats and agriculture. That leaves a large part of the country unable to fend for itself. Take Grand’Anse: it had recently been the source of some optimism, following the building of a new road and the arrival of mobile-phone coverage. Banana and cocoa plantations were beginning to flourish. Much of that has gone.


A costly mistake May 19th 2015

Energy subsidies do not just gobble money. They help cook the planet too

BIG mistakes in economic policymaking abound. But it would be hard to find a worse one than energy subsidies. Recent research has shown that they enrich middlemen, depress economic output and help the rich, who use lots of energy, more than they do the poor.
economic policymaking:経済政策
energy subsidy:エネルギー助成金
economic output:経済生産高

But now a new working paper by the International Monetary Fund highlights another cost too: damage to the environment. Including this, the authors reckon that the total drag on the global economy caused by fuel subsidies now amounts to a stonking $5.3 trillion each year, or 6% of global GDP?more than world spends on health care. Poorer countries dole out the largest amount of subsidies; some spend up to 18% of their GDP a year on them. The lion’s share goes to coal, the most polluting fuel. By contrast renewable-energy subsidies, mainly given out in the rich world, amount to a mere $120 billion. And they would vanish if fossil fuels were taxed properly.
dole out:~を(少しずつ)人に与える、~を施しものとして分ける
working paper:監査調書

Defining subsidies is tricky. The simplest measure is the amount of taxpayers’ money used directly to keep a price artificially low. A broader one includes the costs borne by others, such as pollution, and exemptions from taxes. The IMF uses the wider definition to reach its $5.3 trillion figure. Seen more narrowly, the cost would be $333 billion. But this is only lower than last year because of falling oil prices.

A previous study in 2013 reckoned that the overall damage, including environmental costs, was $2 trillion. The much higher estimate released this week reflects more thorough study of the other health and environmental costs of subsidising fossil fuels. These include the costs of congestion and premature deaths caused by poor air quality, the long-term impact of global warming and the effects of extreme weather such as floods and storms. It estimates the long-term damage done by a tonne of CO2, for example, at $42. Many green-minded people think that figure (borrowed from the American government) is too low. But some economists argue that the inclusion of hypothetical climate-change costs is too sweeping.
//green-minded people:環境意識の高い

Abrupt change is unlikely-making coal users pay its full cost would mean doubling prices. Subsidies attract a tenacious and vocal lobby. But the fall in the oil-price has provided a chance to cut subsidies. India, for example, has recently stopped using handouts to reduce the price of diesel. Egypt, Indonesia and Thailand are also reforming their subsidies. Ending them altogether, and taxing fossil fuels properly, the IMF reckons, would halve the number of deaths from outdoor air pollution, cut carbon-dioxide emissions by a fifth and save up to $2.9 trillion. It would also leave governments with lots of room to cut taxes, or increase spending on more useful things.