By Robert E. Hall

This quantity offers the most recent recommendations of an excellent crew of younger economists on probably the most chronic fiscal difficulties dealing with the U.S. and the realm, inflation. instead of making an attempt an encyclopedic attempt or delivering particular coverage options, the individuals have emphasised the analysis of difficulties and the outline of occasions that economists so much completely comprehend. Reflecting a dozen different views—many of which problem validated orthodoxy—they remove darkness from the industrial and political techniques eager about this crucial factor.

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G. 20 Robert J. 0%, respectively, in the four quarters ending in the first quarter of 1916, "1916:1" (these pre-1947 quarterly data are developed and analyzed in Gordon 1981b, and Gordon and Wilcox 1981; all figures use as the output trend the "natural output" series from Gordon 1981c, appendix B). 1. A unique example of rapid price adjustment, 1916-24. 3 combines several different subepisodes, but the major impression is of extremely flexible prices. 7%, an enormous range, and the economy in both the peak and trough quarters for inflation adhered quite closely to the 45 degree line.

The absorption of the 1965-67 deceleration of nominal GNP growth in slower inflation was just 26%, and of the 1967-69 acceleration just 20%. :~~~~~""T-­ , ,, 75 ,, , ,, ,, ,, 76'·, A Y o 5 15 5 10 P 10 5 65 o y 5 10 15 30 Robert J. Gordon equation (6) above. While in 1972 and 1973 the economy adhered fairly closely to the 45 degree line, movements since 1973 display the northwest-to-southeast orientation that is expected when supply shocks are resisted by monetary policy. 3%. The difference partially reflects the absence in Germany of a postcontrols price rebound, as occurred in the United States in 1974-75, and the beneficial impact of the 1973 movement to floating exchange rates, which was followed by a 20% appreciation of the mark against the dollar between late 1972 and mid-1976.

Ll All that we have to go on are the recorded actions actually taken, together with the pronouncements of public officials, laws, legislative votes, and sometimes constitutional provisions. Out of this material we are to fashion a view about the government strategy being used. Common sense suggests and technical econometric considerations confirm the difficulties in making such interpretations in general. Having said this, I believe that the examples discussed below are about as close to being laboratories for studying regime changes as history has provided.

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