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The Arne Ryde Memorial Lectures
This book looks at very high inflations, exemplified by those suffered by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, and Peru in the eighties and by the Soviet Union today. The authors argue that a better grasp of high inflation processes is necessary in order for countries intricated in it to design stabilization strategies. The extremes of monetary instability can also give a clearer picture of the purpose that money and financial institutions serve under more normal circumstances, thus deepening our understanding of the benefits of monetary stability. The authors examine the financial problems that governments have to wrestle with in high inflation, the private sector's adaptations to high inflation conditions, and the difficulties of finding a policy strategy that can be sustained through disinflation to lasting stabilization. In describing, analysing, and explaining a number of high inflationary experiences, the authors show that standard macroeconomic theory cannot account for the phenomenon of these extreme cases and ask how received inflation theory needs to be changed in order for it to accommodate the various effects on the functioning of the economy.
Finally, the authors make a series of policy prescriptions which will help policy-makers to avoid inflationary situations.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
A useful and thought provoking book, especially for an economist interested in high-inflation countries ... The authors provide a useful discussion of the stabilization of high-inflation economies ... The main thesis of the book is that high inflation retards economic growth. The explanation detailed in support of this view in this book is as rigorous as it can get ... those who patiently study it will find it rewarding. * The Southern Economic Journal * Most of the material is infused with profound common sense reflecting Daniel Heymann's experience in Latin America as well as Axel Leijonhufvud's proverbial good judgement. His deeply questioning theoretical approach is, I believe, evident in the last of the book's seven chapters, relating high inflation to the uneasy place of money in economic theory. The book is worth reading for this material alone, which fills nearly a quarter of its pages. * Economica * Highly recommended for graduate students and practitioners. * Choice *