One of the main basic models taught in economics is the circular-flow model, which describes the flow of money and products throughout the economy in a very simplified way.
经济学课程中,教授的最基本的几个模型之一,便是循环流动模型,它用一种非常简化的方式描述了金钱和商品在整个经济体系中的流动过程。

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The model represents all of the actors in an economy as either households or firms (companies), and it divides markets into two categories:
这个模型体现了一个经济体中的所有要素,既包括家庭,又包括公司,并且它把市场分为了两个领域:

Markets for goods and services
商品与服务市场

Markets for factors of production (factor markets)
生产要素市场(要素市场)

Remember, a market is just a place where buyers and sellers come together to generate economic activity.
要记住,所谓的市场只是指一个买家和卖家共同制造经济活动的地方。

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Goods and Services Markets
商品与服务市场

In goods and services markets, households buy finished products from firms that are looking to sell what they make.
在商品与服务市场中,公司寻找机会卖掉自己生产的东西,而家庭从公司那购买他们生产好的商品。

In this transaction, money flows from households to firms, and this is represented by the direction of the arrows on the lines labeled $$$$ that are connected to the Goods and Services Markets box.
在这个交易过程中,钱从家庭流向公司,这个流动由“商品与服务市场”方框中标有“$$$$”的箭头来表示。

Note that money, by definition, flows from buyer to seller in all markets.
需要注意的是,根据钱的定义,它在所有市场中都是从买方流向卖方的。

On the other hand, finished products flow from firms to households in goods and services markets, and this is represented by the direction of the arrows on the Finished product lines.
另一方面,制作好的商品在商品与服务市场中从公司流向家庭,它由标有“Finished product”的箭头表示。

The fact that the arrows on the money lines and the arrows on the product lines go in opposite directions simply represents the fact that market participants always exchange money for other stuff.
表示钱的箭头与表示商品的箭头总是反向的,这表示市场的参与者总是用钱来交换其他东西。

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Markets for the Factors of Production
生产要素市场

If markets for goods and services were the only markets available, firms would eventually have all of the money in an economy, households would have all of the finished products, and economic activity would stop.
如果商品与服务市场是唯一的市场,那公司最终肯定会得到所有的钱,而家庭则会得到所有的制成商品,然后经济活动就会停止。

Luckily, the goods and services markets don’t tell the whole story, and factor markets serve to complete the circular flow of money and resources.
幸运的是,商品与服务市场并不是故事的全部,要素市场会补完金钱与资源的流动循环。

The term factors of production refers to anything that is used by a firm in order to make a final product.
“生产要素”这个词组指的就是一切被公司用来生产最终商品的东西。

Some examples of factors of production are labor (the work was done by people), capital (the machines used to makes products), land, and so on.
生产要素的例子包括人力(活儿总得由人来做)、资本(用来制造商品的机器)、土地以及其他方面。

Labor markets are the most commonly discussed form of a factor market, but it’s important to remember that factors of production can take many forms.
人力市场是要素市场最常被谈及的形式,但我们需要记住,生产要素市场的形式还有很多。

In factor markets, households and firms play different roles than they do in the markets for goods and services.
在要素市场中,家庭与公司所扮演的角色与他们在商品与服务市场中的角色不同。

When households provide (i.e. supply) labor to firms, they can be thought of as the sellers of their time or work product.
当家庭向公司提供人力时,我们可以把他们看做自身时间的卖家,或者是他们把自己的工作当作产品来售卖。

(Technically, employees can more accurately be thought of as being rented rather than being sold, but this is usually an unnecessary distinction.)
(技术上讲,更准确的说法应该是员工将自己出租,而不是售卖,不过这个区分通常没有必要讨论。)

Therefore, the functions of households and firms are reversed in factor markets as compared to in goods and services markets.
这样一来,相较于商品与服务市场,家庭与公司在这的功能被反转了。

Households provide labor, capital, and other factors of production to firms, and this is represented by the direction of the arrows on the Labor, capital, land, etc. lines on the diagram above.
家庭向公司提供人力、资本以及其他生产要素,这些由上图中标有“劳动力、资本、土地等”的箭头表示。

In the other side of the exchange, firms provide money to households as compensation for the use of factors of production, and this is represented by the direction of the arrows on the SSSS lines that connect to the Factor Markets box.
在交易的另一端,公司向家庭提供金钱以偿付生产要素,这由连接到“Factor Markets”方框的那条标有“SSSS”的箭头表示。

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The Two Types of Markets Form a Closed Loop
两种市场形成了一个闭环

When factor markets are put together with goods and services markets, a closed loop for the flow of money is formed.
当把要素市场和商品与服务市场放在一起的时候,我们就得到了一个金钱流动的闭环。

As a result, continued economic activity is sustainable in the long run, since neither firms nor households are going to end up with all of the money.
其结果就是,经济活动变得可持续,因为公司与家庭最终都不可能坐拥所有的金钱。

The outer lines on the diagram (the lines labeled Labor, capital, land, etc. and Finished product) also form a closed loop, and this loop represents the fact that firms use factors of production to create finished products and households consume finished products in order to maintain their ability to provide factors of production.
图标上靠外的线(标有“劳动力、资本、土地等”和“成品”的线)也形成了闭环,这表示公司使用生产要素来制造商品,而家庭消费商品来维持自己提供生产要素的能力)

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(翻译:能猫)