CHAPTER 33 THE SHORT-RUN TRADEOFF BETWEEN INFLATION AND UNEMPLOYMENT 785 rate of inflation. The widespread belief that there is a permanent tradeoff is a sophisticated version of the confusion between “high” and “rising” that we all recognize in simpler forms. A rising rate of inflation may reduce unemployment, a high rate will not. But how long, you will say, is “temporary”? . . . I can at most venture a personal judgment, based on some examination of the historical evidence, that the initial effects of a higher and unanticipated rate of inflation last for something like two to five years. Today, more than 30 years later, this statement still summarizes the view of most macroeconomists. ± The Phillips curve describes a negative relationship between inflation and unemployment. By expanding aggregate demand, policymakers can choose a point on the Phillips curve with higher inflation and lower unemployment. By contracting aggregate demand, policymakers can choose a point on the Phillips curve
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