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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

factor affecting or influencing changes in supply
Sham Reply
What is economics
Khurram Reply
we study how to allocate scare resouces to satisfied unlimited wants.
Adil
Scenario affecting change in income in demand
Janiz Reply
what economic
guuguule Reply
it is the situation where by im a market there is only one supplier and producer of a certain comodity that has no close substitute or competitor
Sepiso Reply
yes
Alhaji
what is demand and supply
Alhaji
demand is the amount of a goods or service that consumers are willing to buy at a particular price, while is to provide something,to make something available for use.
jago
I need a scenario affecting change in income (demand)
Janiz
what is Economics?
Pintu Reply
Is the study of human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scares mean which have alternative use
Alhaji
yes
Tawa
what is monopoly
Alhaji
what are the difficultés if retail prix index for calculating thé value of money
Oscar
hmm OK wait
Castino
what is labour
Mamudou Reply
LABOUR is a measure of work done by human being
Blessing
It is all form of human effort use to utilize in production
Alhaji
Why is scarcity a foundermental problem in economics
Alhaji
Why is scarcity a foundermental problem in economics
Alhaji Reply
scarcity occur unbalance demand and supply at this time cost goods increase then inflation very increase
Tesfaye
scarcity is a foundermental problem because its a natural situation and it affects the world at Large.in other words,it's limit in supply relating to deman
Akwosih
'Economics is about making choices in the presence of scarcity"
manoj Reply
. 'Economics is about making choices in the presence of scarcity" - Dscuss.
manoj
describe the producer's scarce resources.. I.e land,Labour,capital and enterprise
Alfhah Reply
short in supply
Charles
What are human behaviour?
Regina Reply
the rationality in decision making
Charles
how can you describe economic goods in a much better easier way?
Alfhah Reply
any thing that have utility
Charles
what is deman and supply
Aruna Reply
Demand can be defined as the ability and willingness to buy commodities in a given price of goods and services in a particular period of time
Alasana
supply refers to the ability and willingness to offered commodities for sale in a given price of goods and services in a period of time .
Alasana
Demand can refer to the ability and willingness to purchase a commodity at a giving price and time.
habib
what must the producer do if total costs exceed total revenue
Mmusi Reply
raise price
Nguyen
reduce cost
Charles
scarcity resources sample
nawala Reply
land
Charles

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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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