Saturday, October 1, 2016

Brian Romanchuk — Whither Mainstream Economics?

The inertia in academic institutions provides a very good reason to expect very little progress within mainstream business cycle macroeconomics. Nevertheless, that segment of the profession could be dragged kicking and screaming back to reality by central banks, and so there is no reason for total pessimism on that score. This article is written from the perspective of an outsider analysing the field from the perspective of the history of ideas, and not arguing about the validity of any school of thought.
This article bookends my earlier article "Whither Post-Keynesian Economics?" It is no secret that I believe that post-Keynesian economics is the best way to approach economics. I discuss how post-Keynesian economics fits into my discussion here in an appendix.…
My interpretation of post-Keynesian economics leads to a somewhat pessimistic conclusion: we cannot hope to assign a single probability distribution to the future value of macroeconomic variables using a single model. (The existence of such a model would allow for a "scientific" determination of the validity of the model using statistical tests.)….
If we assume that my assertion is correct, the implication is that we cannot blindly hope to apply the lessons of science (particularly Physics) to economics. Any theory that offers quantitative predictions can be shot down for one reason or another -- either problematic observed data, or theoretical incoherence. This means that there can be no "final answer" for macro theory, which is why we are stuck with battling tribes with different interpretations.

It should be noted that this theoretical ambivalence is not novel; it is effectively how market economists operate.
The side effect is that this puts academic post-Keynesians in a bind. Since they cannot produce a model that is "scientifically true," there is no reason that their theories must be adopted on "scientific" grounds. All that can be done is package their theories in a way that makes them more attractive than their competitors. As time passes, they will be absorbed into the "mainstream." Although this process seems inevitable, the question remains whether mainstream authors will properly cite the post-Keynesian authors, or else pretend that they came from within the New Consensus tradition.…
Bond Economics
Whither Mainstream Economics?
Brian Romanchuk

42 comments:

Matthew Franko said...

"Since they cannot produce a model that is "scientifically true,"

They only can't bring themselves to do this because they are too invested in the "neo-liberal conspiracy!" theory politically...

Warren predicted the current problems in the German banking system some years ago and he explained why it would happen in a systemic context...

Tom Hickey said...

Warren predicted the current problems in the German banking system some years ago and he explained why it would happen in a systemic context...

To play the devil's advocate, where's the model.

Wren-Lewis doesn't even buy Godley's "model" that "predicted" the recession.

Matthew Franko said...

Well maybe that is what Warren wanted the cohort of the academe he funded to write up... and all that happened was more politics instead of the science we need..

Warren says "all prices are necessarily a FUNCTION of what the govt pays for things and what they allow their fiscal agents to lend against things.."

Which imo is true but no one he deals with in the academe either believes this or understands this or both... hence they cant formalize it... the people he deals with all think "inflation!" is a real thing they are monetarist and cant get to a more deterministic functional approach that is required...

I might blame Darwin for all of this stochastic nonsense but that's just me.... could be other biases operating I suppose...

alexi de sadesky said...

Matt,

Are you in agreement with Mike that spending has a greater impact on the economy than the size of the deficit?

Random said...

The deficit is what it is. It doesn't have an "impact."

Matt Franko said...

Alexi sure yes ... deficit is a measure of savings over a period of time... you always have some people who can/do save ...

Think of it as similar to thermal loss in a motor circuit... not the source/control section... it's a function of the source section...

alexi de sadesky said...

Thanks, Matt. I like the thermal loss analogy.

Tom Hickey said...

The fact is that the government spends every day by crediting bank accounts (or issuing checks that lead to bank credits).

Bill Mitchell

That is a totally separable process and would occur irrespective of whether it issues debt or not. The spending is what drives income growth. [emphasis added]

I know some commentators (bloggers) out there claim that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is wrong because we ignore the arrangements that governments put into place to force themselves to have cash in some account before they can spend. That is, they claim the government is revenue constrained and we should admit that.

The fact is we don’t ignore that at all. We juxtapose these voluntary institutional arrangements (that can be changed at any time) with the intrinsic characteristics of the money system to highlight key issues that are obscured from the public by these arrangements.

alexi de sadesky said...

Thanks for the link, Tom. Very helpful.

André said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
André said...

"all prices are necessarily a FUNCTION of what the govt pays for things and what they allow their fiscal agents to lend against things.."

Matthew, you attribute this sentence to Warren, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Where can I find more about this?

It seems to me the best price level (and inflation) theory so far...

Ignacio said...

It was on a lecture or a conference somewhere.

The government certainly has a big impact on prices as it can set price floors across large sectors of the economy directly and indirectly and outpurchase the private sector, drive investment etc. Probably explains under NORMAL circumstances a lot of the variations in price, although is not the only factor.

Matt Franko said...

Andre here is one:

"The second channel is the inflation expectations channel. This presumes that inflation is caused by inflation expectations, with those expecting higher prices to both accelerate purchases and demanding higher wages, and that lower rates will increase inflation expectations.

I don’t agree. First, with the currency itself a simple public monopoly, as a point of logic the price level is necessarily a function of prices paid by government when it spends (and/or collateral demanded when it lends), and not inflation expectations. "

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-mosler/there-is-no-right-time-fo_b_5995896.html

Its not a "point of logic" for many unqualified people... certainly not the anti-STEM trained SJWs over at HuffPo.....

André said...

Very interesting. Haven't heard this kind of theory from any other MMTer.

I don't usually read Warren's blog because I find it too difficult to understand. Maybe I'm not smart enough or maybe he has trouble in communicating. He also seems to predict a disaster that in practice never happens, which affects his credibility (in my point of view). But more than once he was able to surprise me.

I suspect that Bill Mitchell and Randall Wray don't share the same inflation theory. I have never read they say anything of this sort. That's a shame, because I don't believe they have a good inflation theory at all. Bill Mitchell just says that inflation happens when the economy surpasses full capacity and full employment. That doesn't explain a lot of real world observations, when both unemployment and inflation happens for long periods (years or decades). Maybe what explains that is the rise of government prices - a political choice that may happen even when the economy is not in full employment.

Tom Hickey said...

Warren has said that this is Econ 101 economics on monopoly. Nothing that every economist doesn't already understand. He said that the contribution that he has made is to point out that the government has a monopoly on the currency it issues, which automatically makes the currency issuer the price setter in its currency. This is the foundation of Mosler's "soft currency economics" that launched MMT after Warren met Randy Wray and Bill Mitchell.

http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/2012/05/warren-mosler-on-government-as-currency.html

Then the question becomes the degree to which the government wishes to exercise its monopoly. For example, the central banks setting price (the interest rate) as an agent of the government is an exercise of the government's monopoly over the currency. Normally, the cb sets the interest rate as the "base price of money" and let the quantity of reserves float around that target rate.

Governments also set price using buffer stocks. For example, the MMT JG compensation would also set the price for an hour of unskilled labor in the labor market if it were adopted. Government would set the price and let the quantity of the buffer stock float with changing conditions in the labor market.

Ryan Harris said...

"we cannot hope to assign a single probability distribution to the future value of macroeconomic variables using a single model"

*gasp* How could we ever solve a problem like that!

André said...

"For example, the MMT JG compensation would also set the price for an hour of unskilled labor in the labor market if it were adopted. Government would set the price and let the quantity of the buffer stock float with changing conditions in the labor market."

Yes, the JG compensation (wage) sets the price of an hour of unskilled labor. But that would work only if you had a JG program. If you don't have it, then what will set the inflation rate?

Probably government prices, like the wage of public servants. If the government decides to double all government prices (all public servant wages) in one moth, the inflation rate will be 100% in that month. There may be lags and adjustments, but that's more or less how I believe it would work. And you don't see Bill Mitchell and Randall Wray and etc talking about this kind of inflation theory.

Tom Hickey said...

If the government decides to double all government prices (all public servant wages) in one moth, the inflation rate will be 100% in that month. There may be lags and adjustments, but that's more or less how I believe it would work. And you don't see Bill Mitchell and Randall Wray and etc talking about this kind of inflation theory.

What is you reasoning there?

"Inflation" is a continuous rise in the prices level. Economies vary between disinflation and reflation in a cycle. "Deflation" only occurs with the rate of change of the price level drops under zero. Inflation only occurs when an economy is at capacity, indicated by full employment and the inability to expand to meet increased demand and the increased demand is not met by imports either.

"Inflation" is one of those bullshit words that people throw around normatively to influence arguments in their favor.

How does the US economy address inflation without an MMT JG? By the central bank raising interest rates to the level that it chokes demand enough to cause companies to lay people off, increasing the buffer stock of unemployed and loosing a "too tight" labor market. In other words, unemployment is used as tool to address inflation under current policy. This is an issue that Bill Mitchell has addressed in great detail both professionally in books and papers and popularly in his blog.

Matt Franko said...

"I suspect that Bill Mitchell and Randall Wray don't share the same inflation theory. "

Give that man a cigar!!!

Andre they are in the academe while Warren is not....

Tom its a metaphor from automotive tire centers not even physics as physics has PV=mRT not "inflation!"....

Andre I will try to search up a video link for you to watch from the Teach-In a few years ago where Warren goes first followed by Bill and Randy...

Warren is all over it, Bill throws a wet blanket on him and Randy doesnt even pay attention to him on it... its just a bridge too far for the academe MMTers....

Matt Franko said...

Andre here go to the 13:00 (13 minute) mark and watch Warren go first then Bill then Randy in response to the "inflation!" question...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow2zJsACruA

Warren has it right imo and then Bill and Randy have to take him down as they either dont understand the point Warren is trying to make or they simply have to politically accept the concept of "inflation!" in order to remain in the academe of economics...

Warren's theory recognizes the significance of the changes in conditions due to the events of 1971 (see Tom's point about Warren's empirical observation of monopoly, non-convertibility, etc) while the academe generally does not recognize this change in conditions and how it should effect the science going forward from there...

Tom Hickey said...

Bill and Randy are correct. There is no function that describes inflation. Either Warren is using terms loosely when he uses the term function or he should write the function mathematically if he means "function" in the mathematical sense.

Sometime "function of" is used loosely to mean factor rather than the controlling variable (independent variable) in a mathematical function in which a single input determines a single output in terms of a direct relationship.

There is no such equation to my knowledge. The most precise formulation is the Tayor rule as cb guideline. If I am mistaken about this, please point me to the inflation function.

I am not saying that Warren is wrong in his analysis of the currency monopoly that the currency issuer enjoys in soft currency economics. I am saying that there is no mathematical function that describes this and both Randy and Bill know it.

Matt Franko said...

"He also seems to predict a disaster that in practice never happens, which affects his credibility"

Try to consider that separate from Warren's basic science... it might be politics coming in there...

Tom Hickey said...

There is no way to put a clock on these things that can be called the prediction of a mathematical model.

Take the Clinton surplus. It took from the time that Bill left office until 2007 for the effect to manifest.

Matt Franko said...

Tom,

"There is no such equation to my knowledge. "

You're making my point thanks...

Why dont you get in your time machine and go back and tell Newton there is no functional equation that relates Force to Mass and Acceleration before he started to work on it...

C'mon this is science... what are we doing jerking off?

Tom Hickey said...

It's not like people aren't looking, Matt. Anyone who would be the first to right the equations and have them test out would be a sure winner of the "Nobel" in econ.

Newton did not develop his equations in a vacuum either. He acknowledged that he stood on the shoulders of giants.

Econ is still in the playpen.

André said...

"'Inflation' is one of those bullshit words that people throw around normatively to influence arguments in their favor."

Tom, I agree that "inflation" is a very ambiguous word, so I will try to be more precise. By inflation I mean the decrease in the value of currency. And by inflation I mean an increase in the value of currency. It doesn't need to be persistent. You can have devaluation in one month and not in the other. So I don't like the "a continuous rise in the prices level" definition (that's the one that Bill Mitchell uses and I don't like it).

What is the value of the currency? The amount of work you have to do to earn it, as a public employee for example.

If you have to work hard 500 hours to earn one unit of currency, then that currency will have a lot of value for you. You had to work a lot to be able to pay your taxes of ten units of currency. And if anyone is trying to trade something for that currency, you will charge a lot - I don't know, you will demand a car to give up that one unit of currency.

But if you have to work 1 minute to earn one unit of currency, then its value will be small. It will be a piece of cake to pay your tax of ten units of currency. And you will give up easliy on that unit of currency - you will trade it for a bubble gum, for example.

The government that decides how much it will pay for one hour of work, and how much to tax.

For me that's MMT.

André said...

Oops, did a mistake there. It was supposed to be:
"By inflation I mean the decrease in the value of currency. And by DEFLATION I mean an increase in the value of currency"

Tom Hickey said...

So I don't like the "a continuous rise in the prices level" definition (that's the one that Bill Mitchell uses and I don't like it).

"Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling.

Investopedia

MV = PQ

As long as Q can expand relative to expanding MV, P is not affected. Purchasing power is only affected on the upside when demand outstrips the capacity of supply to meet it.

That might occur for an individual item or in a sector where substitution is not available, and that would affect the price index, but generally speaking unless wages (price of labor) are also rising, it is not "inflation" strictly speaking.

Moreover, inflationary pressure can come from both the side of demand — effective demand in excess of ability to supply — and the side of supply — supply shortages or bottlenecks, especially of vital materials like energy.

If inflation occurs for supply reasons, for example, rising energy prices, then addressing such "inflation" with higher interest rates designed to reduce employment just exacerbates the slowdown.

Tom Hickey said...

I am saying that disinflation and reflation are forms of "flatten" (Abba Lerner) that are normal. Prices decline during slack periods as firms move out unplanned inventory, e.g., with sales, while prices recover as the recovery takes shape, e.g., fewer and shallower sales as firms manage their inventory iaw expectations.

However. at the extremes, deflation occurs when there is a crisis and the rate of change of the price level falls below zero, threatening debt deflationary depression, while inflation properly speaking occurs only when the economy has reached capacity and effective demand outpaces ability to supply it in a timely way through expansion.

Failure to see this distinction results in seeing the inflation boogeyman when prices and wages reflate after a decline.

Tom Hickey said...

"flatten" (Abba Lerner) should be "flation."

André said...

MV = PQ equation has already been very cricticized by MMT community and I don't think that's a good way to go.


"However. at the extremes, deflation occurs when there is a crisis and the rate of change of the price level falls below zero, threatening debt deflationary depression"

Why would a crisis trigger that kind of behavior? And why would that cause a deflationary depression?

"while inflation properly speaking occurs only when the economy has reached capacity and effective demand outpaces ability to supply it in a timely way through expansion."

In a lot of countries we observe both rising unemployment and rising inflation for years or decades. Unemployment means that the economy hasn't reached its capacity. So I don't think it's a good explanation.

Today we define inflation in a practical manner: we observe the nominal prices (in units of currency) of a basket of goods.

The price of the basket may change because of the valuation or devaluation of the currency in which price is expressed. Or because the value of some item has moved - maybe a climate change affected tomato production, and now its harder to produce tomatoes, which affects supply and so its value.

So when the price of the basket rises, we call it inflation, but we cannot separate the "tomato effect" (which has nothing to do with the value of the currency) from the currency depreciaton effect. I understand that there are two effects, and I advocate that only currency depreciation should be called "infltion".

But nonetheless, the main driver of yearly inflation is currency depreciaton. And this effect is caused solely by public prices (like the wage of public employees). That's what I'm talking about.

I mean, the value of tomatoes may fluctate, but, in average, it's more or less the same. I mean, people value tomatoes today more or less the same way they did in the 1960s. But the currency price of tomatoes today is very, very different of the 1960s because of currency devaluation.

Today the government pay more units of currency for a "standard hour of work" than it did in the 1960s, and that's why we have currency depreciation and so inflation. That's more or less how I see it.

That has nothing to do with money aggregates, velocity of money and so on. No MV=PQ around here.

Tom Hickey said...

MV = PQ equation has already been very cricticized by MMT community and I don't think that's a good way to go.

MV = PQ is an accounting identity. All economists accept it as that. It just says that aggregate demand ($ spent) is identical with aggregate supply ($ spent).

Why would a crisis trigger that kind of behavior? And why would that cause a deflationary depression?

Because nominal debt remains the same and ability to service it decreases.



Tom Hickey said...

But nonetheless, the main driver of yearly inflation is currency depreciaton. And this effect is caused solely by public prices (like the wage of public employees). That's what I'm talking about.

That's the neoliberal explanation. Their answer is to reduce wages, which now means cut wages of public employees, which means ending public worker unions.

André said...

MV = PQ is an accouting identity that doesn't bring anything useful, because V is not a constant but some variable that no one have a good model to explain.

I mean, I could say that X = k*Y, where X is the price of gold in indian rupees and Y in the number of shark attacks on humans in the last 12 years. It's an accounting identity, but it's not useful to explain anything. The term k is obviously not a constant because gold price is not proportional to shark attacks, but then what is the equation that drives k? When you put the equation this way, it just confuses things, and seems that k is a constant and that there is some direct relationship between gold price and shark attacks.

What I'm saying is that V = alpha * Qw/M, where w is public wages and alpha is an coeficient that we may call "wage velocity".

If you substitute that model for V in your equation you get P=alpha*w which is a way better equation. That's also an accounting identity. But then I go a step further: I say that alpha is a constant. Now I have a model, and not an accounting identity anymore. A good one if it was not so oversimplistic. Of course I would had to make some empirical research to prove that alpha is really constant and just then claim that my model is "right".

And no, it's not neoliberal explanation. What I'm saying is that wage control is the best way to control inflation, but the governmebt should never limit the number of jobs, because that would cause unemployment. The budget and the debt don't have a causal relationship to inflation. It's actually close to the JG program.

Because of modern institutional designs and decentralization, I believe that public administrators act in the direction of always giving public employees wage rises, which creates inflation and then leads to a vicious cycle.

I would never end work unions because they are not only about wages. They defend public worker rights, not just wages.

Matt Franko said...

Andre back in 2003/2004 the DoD contractors that got the Iraq reconstruction work bought out all the plywood for $40- $50 /sheet and drywall for $18/sheet...

Housing/Property construction went to over $150/psf...

Then they removed their bid and housing prices collapsed last time I looked at plywood it was $13/sheet and drywall was $6... now housing is sub $100/psf again...

If banks started lending $1M against mobile homes, the price of mobile homes would immediately go to $1M and stick built accordingly would go up even more...

André said...

"Then they removed their bid and housing prices collapsed last time I looked at plywood it was $13/sheet and drywall was $6... now housing is sub $100/psf again..."

I don't if I was able to follow you, but it seems that some construction materials value was changed because of war.

It means that some real economic resources were employed for war and, because of that, the life of civilian people became harder - people would not have access to the resources or it was harder to obtain it.

That situation does change the value of real economic resources, but my point is that this kind of thing doesn't change the value of currency. The value of currency was more or less the same and the value of plywood rose (because of war). So the price, which is the ratio of both values, increased.

The value of currency would change if the government chaged its prices.

"If banks started lending $1M against mobile homes, the price of mobile homes would immediately go to $1M and stick built accordingly would go up even more..."

Why would a bank lend $1M against mobile homes? Because it believes it's good collateral and it make economic sense. It's profitable. So mobile homes apparently does worth 1 million. It's also economic value increase, and not currency depreciation.

Of course when we say "inflation" we mean both effects: currency depreciation and increase in value of real resources. I'm separating in components and saying that one of them (the most important one) is a funcion of government prices.

Tom Hickey said...

Andre, my point in bringing in MV=PQ is that they are all variable. The Monetarist view was that V and Q are relatively constant so it is changes in M that result in changes in P. That happens to be wrong. The equation implies that if M increases but V decrease owing to saving rather than spending then the impact on P is less. In addition, if Q increases as M increases then the net result on P is the difference between M and Q is the impact on P.

As long as Q can expands, which is when the economy is performing under capacity, then P will not increase in direct proportion to M. That is in fact what happens. Then there is also NX to take into account in an open economy.

Your original assertion was that if M increases though G, that is, a wage increase in public employee wages (the price the government pays), then P will also increase. That does not follow with necessity. MV=PQ shows why. It's because P is not directly proportional to M owing to possible changes in V and Q, Q in particular in this example.

The relationship of finance and economics is complicated and there is no function or set of equations (formal model) that can be written to describe it either determinatively or stochastically (yet).

And certainly gadgets like MV=PQ and IS-LM are not capable of yielding much meaningful about the relationship between financial and economic behavior other than as simple (simplistic) teaching tools that depend on cet. par., which is unrealistic.

There are always a lot of influences in the financial-economic relationship and they all need to be analyzed in context to understand why changes in price level are taking place. Shutting the eyes and applying formulas has resulted in either ineffectual result in the past, or damaging results.

What I'm saying is that wage control is the best way to control inflation, but the government should never limit the number of jobs, because that would cause unemployment. The budget and the debt don't have a causal relationship to inflation. It's actually close to the JG program.

Because of modern institutional designs and decentralization, I believe that public administrators act in the direction of always giving public employees wage rises, which creates inflation and then leads to a vicious cycle.


That's an empirical claim that would have to be substantiated with data. For one thing, in the private sector it's about owner-worker share. In the neoliberal economies of today that ratio has been tipped away from workers for decades owing to the trade agreements, offshoring, union busting legislation and other factors that reduce labor bargaining power.

Public employee unions have kept the real wage somewhat more constant wrt to the real wage than the private, at least in the US, I believe, but I haven't looked at the figures recently. There is no evidence that it is resulting in inflationary pressure since there is no inflation in the US and the wages that are beginning to reflate are private sector wages of ordinary workers. The only sector in which there has been wage pressure in in the upper quintile in technology, where highly skilled workers are in short supply. The answer of business is more H-1B visas for highly skilled non-immigrant workers.

Generally speaking, wage pressure is a lagging factor that develops as employees realize that the real wage is falling, that is, their purchasing power is decreasing and they have to borrow more to maintain life style. Then they either have to go into debt, reduce their discretionary spending, or demand higher wages to maintain a real wage proportional to accustomed lifestyle.

OF course, if the real wage decreases to the extent that many people cannot afford necessary expenses and are already loaded up with debt, then they would have to liquidate assets. If they have no assets, then they slip into poverty. Lot of US workers are paid below the poverty level and receive government benefits. In fact, Walmart has incorporated this into its business model.

Tom Hickey said...

Let's look at the US and the recent low inflation rate. If it is asserted that this is the result of government reducing the prices it pays, then the prices have to be identified. Government has not reduced public employee wages significantly or the prices paid for goods.

The price that government has reduced is the "price of money," that is the interest rate, and has also flattened the yield curve, affecting longer term rates as well. This reduced interest income in an environment of recovery when fiscal policy did not offset the loose monetary policy with greater stimulus. This combined effect may have contributed to the rate of change of the price level stabilizing at a historically low level.

But that is not the only factor. The price of energy also declined significantly due to oversupply resulting from new production (shale, fracking), and asset prices (wealth effect) have yet to recover to previous levels. In addition cheap imports of both goods and materials (Chinese steel, for instance) have reduced shelf prices and production costs while also reducing employment through embedded labor.

PKE and MMT economists are pretty much agreed that the "cause" is lagging effective demand that is chiefly due to overly tight fiscal policy in the face of decreased private borrowing and increased debt repayment. But that not an economic fix or a financial fix either. Capitalism runs on investment and owing to neoliberalism, US financial capital is not being invested in the US but abroad.

André said...

"That's an empirical claim that would have to be substantiated with data"

Totally agree. I am making claims here without prove. It's an exercice. One day I will try to do some serious research about that subject and find out. Maybe I will find out that I'm wrong, I don't know.

"Generally speaking, wage pressure is a lagging factor that develops as employees realize that the real wage is falling, that is, their purchasing power is decreasing"

That's a claim you made that also have to be substantiated with data. I believe that it's true for the private sector, but not for the public sector.

I live in Brazil and we have inflation of more or less 10% a year. If "my" theroy is true, then a law that freezes government prices (including public wages) would make the inflation rate go to 0%. It probably would take months, or maybe years, for prices to adjust in full. In meantime, while prices are not adjusted, maybe public employees will face temporary fall in purchasing power, that will come back after price adjustments. It will make public emoloyees mad for some time.

Althrouh I'm simplifying things, I guess that's more or less what Warren thinks when he says that inflation is a function of public prices.

Of course it's all theory and no data, so I cannot be sure that's a good theory or just trash. But it makes more sense than today inflation theories, that are also very poor on evidence.



Tom Hickey said...

I am not knowledgeable about Brazil. It's entirely possible that your contentions is accurate.

For example, MMT economists agree that indexation, that is, increasing the amount government pays in wages and transfer with the rate of inflation, imparts an inflationary bias.

André said...

Brazil was just an example... it could be any country


"Let's look at the US and the recent low inflation rate. If it is asserted that this is the result of government reducing the prices it pays, then the prices have to be identified. Government has not reduced public employee wages significantly or the prices paid for goods."

Well, I don't know the data. I'm not so sure that public employee wages haven't been reduced.

But if that's the case, either my theroy is wrong or it was the value of economic goods and resources that have risen. CPI and other price level and inflation indicators do not separte currency depreciation from the rise of value of goods. I don't know.

Matt Franko said...

"I live in Brazil and we have inflation of more or less 10% a year. "

That's because they have the risk free rate more or less 10% a year...

"because of that, the life of civilian people became harder - people would not have access to the resources or it was harder to obtain it."

Not at all the OFHEO just kept increasing the conforming loan limits for housing... during GWOT the conforming loan limit went iirc from $211K up to $417k where they have remained for like 8 years now... so housing prices of course doubled as the govt is allowing their fiscal agents to lend up to $417k against them vs. $211k some years before that...