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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Identify the causes and effects of inflation in various economic markets
  • Explain the significance of a converging economy

Policymakers of the high-income economies appear to have learned some lessons about fighting inflation    . First, whatever happens with aggregate supply and aggregate demand in the short run, monetary policy can be used to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched in the economy in the medium and long term. Second, there is no long-run gain to letting inflation become established. In fact, allowing inflation to become lasting and persistent poses undesirable risks and tradeoffs. When inflation is high, businesses and individuals need to spend time and effort worrying about protecting themselves against inflation, rather than seeking out better ways to serve customers. In short, the high-income economies appear to have both a political consensus to hold inflation low and the economic tools to do so.

In a number of middle- and low-income economies around the world, inflation is far from a solved problem. In the early 2000s, Turkey experienced inflation of more than 50% per year for several years. Belarus had inflation of about 100% per year from 2000 to 2001. From 2008 to 2010, Venezuela and Myanmar had inflation rates of 20% to 30% per year. Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine all had double-digit inflation for most of the years from 2000 to 2010. Zimbabwe had hyperinflation, with inflation rates that went from more than 100% per year in the mid-2000s to a rate of several million percent in 2008.

In these countries, the problem of very high inflation generally arises from huge budget deficits, which are financed by the government printing its domestic currency. This is a case of “too much money chasing too few goods.” In the case of Zimbabwe, the government covered its widening deficits by printing ever higher currency notes, including a $100 trillion bill. By late 2008, the money was nearly worthless, which led Zimbabwe to adopt the U.S. dollar, immediately halting their hyperinflation. In some countries, the central bank makes loans to politically favored firms, essentially printing money to do so, and this too leads to higher inflation.

A number of countries have managed to sustain solid levels of economic growth for sustained periods of time with levels of inflation that would sound high by recent U.S. standards, like 10% to 30% per year. In such economies, most contracts, wage levels, and interest rates are indexed to inflation. Indexing wage contracts and interest rates means that they will increase when inflation increases to retain purchasing power. When wages do not rise as price levels rise, this leads to a decline in the real wage rate and a decrease in the standard of living. Likewise, interest rates that are not indexed mean that the lenders of money will be paid back in devalued currency and will also lose purchasing power on monies that were lent. It is clearly possible—and perhaps sometimes necessary—for a converging economy    (the economy of a country that demonstrates the ability to catch up to the technology leaders) to live with a degree of uncertainty over inflation that would be politically unacceptable in the high-income economies.

Concepts and summary

Most high-income economies have learned that their central banks can control inflation in the medium and the long term. In addition, they have learned that inflation has no long-term benefits but potentially substantial long-term costs if it distracts businesses from focusing on real productivity gains. However, smaller economies around the world may face more volatile inflation because their smaller economies can be unsettled by international movements of capital and goods.

Problems

Retrieve inflation data from The World Bank data base (http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx) for India, Spain, and South Africa for 2008–2013. Prepare a chart that compares India, Spain, and South Africa based on the data. Describe the key differences between the countries. Rank these countries as high-, medium-, and low-income. Explain what is surprising or expected about the data.

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Questions & Answers

What is demand
TECK Reply
the amount of a good that buyers are willing and able to purchase
Asit
what is population
Amadou Reply
The people living within a political or geographical boundary.
Ziyodilla
what happens to price and quantity when demand curves shift to the right
Asha Reply
price level goes up. quantity demand increases
Asit
example- inferior goods
Asit
demand law
Athony
Its states that higher the price the of the commodity, and lower the quantity demanded
Kosiso
I am confused but quantity demand will increase.
Asit
No. That's the law of supply
Kosiso
what happens to price and quantity when supply curve shifts left?
Asha Reply
price level will increase
Asit
quantity demand will decrease
Asit
what is inflation
Pop Reply
inflation is a general and ongoing rise in the level of prices in an entire economy.
cynthia
is the pasistance increase in the price of a country economy
Liyu
kk
Duppy
yes
Aadi
how does inflation affects the economy of a country? what is deflation?
Augustine
deflation can simply be define as the persistence decrease in price of a countrys economy
Liyu
the revenge of malthus relates "revenge" with "commodity prices". collect data for 3 commodoties and check their price evolution
Jamshi Reply
what is elasticity
dubela Reply
Elasticity is an economics concept that measures responsiveness of one variable to changes in another variable.
cynthia
right
Augustine
wooow!!
cynthia
Computer software represents
Mboledi Reply
पर्यावरण राज्यों में से किस राज्य में शिष्य शिक्षक अनुपात 30 से अधिक वाले विद्यालयों का प्रतिशत न्यूनतम होता है
plz Reply
Hey what are you trying to mean?
Kenyana
what is Asset
MUBARAK
like a banana
Ahmed
demand is the process whereby consumers are willing and able to purchase a particular product at various price over a given period of time
Samuel Reply
The law of dinimish
Frank Reply
What is the law of dinimish
Frank
What is the law of dinimish
Frank
What is the law of dinimish
Frank
opportunity cost is to forgo something for another.
jackie Reply
yes
King
what is financial market
Asheeru Reply
what is demand
Levinel Reply
Demand is an economic principle referring to a consumer's desire to purchase goods and services and willingness to pay a price for a specific good or service.
Ali
explain any three exceptions to the law of demand
Emma Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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