20100915+slides - Economics 1: Fall 2010 J. Bradford...

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Unformatted text preview: Economics 1: Fall 2010 J. Bradford DeLong, Michael Urbancic, and a cast of thousands... hAp://delong.typepad.com/econ_1_fall_2010/ Ladies and Gentlemen, to Your i>Clickers... •  How many people think the just ­past block o “depression economics” lectures went... –  A. Too fast? –  B. Too slowly? –  C. Just right? Economics 1: Fall 2010: InflaVon Economics J. Bradford DeLong September 13, 2010, 12 ­1 Wheeler Auditorium, U.C. Berkeley InflaVon Economics •  Y = (M/P) • V •  And let us say Y = Y*, the economy is at full employment –  Or near full employment: there is some wiggle room —overVme, extra vacancies, etc.... •  Y* = (M/P) • V •  P = (M • V)/Y* •  So what happens when something boosts M or V? –  P goes up The Phillips Curve π: inflaVon (P(t) ­P(t ­1))/P(t ­1) = π(t) E(π): expected inflaVon: u: unemployment rate u*: the “natural” rate of unemployment, the NAIRU •  π = E(π) + β(u*  ­ u) •  •  •  •  •  The Phillips Curve II •  π = E(π) + β(u*  ­ u) •  Usually u* will be stable (say, 5% in the U.S. today) –  SomeVmes not: varieVes of “structural” unemployment •  Usually E(π) this year will preAy much be just what inflaVon was last year –  SomeVmes not –  President MiAerand of France at the start of the 1980s The Unemployment Rate and the Change in InflaVon The Phillips Curve: The 1950s The Phillips Curve: The 1960s The Phillips Curve: The 1970s The Phillips Curve: The Early 1980s The Phillips Curve: From the Late 1980s Ladies and Gentlemen, to Your i>Clickers... •  The Phillips Curve Is: –  A. One of the most armor ­plated, reliable, stable findings in all empirical economics –  B. Too uncertain to be relied on –  C. Tells you liAle about what will happen to inflaVon next year—hence ignorable –  D. Tells you a lot about what will happen if unemployment stays high (or low) for even half a decade—hence essenVal –  E. About to be tested: will the U.S. see actual deflaVon as it has never seen it since the Great Depression itself? Why Does It MaAer? •  Should we care about inflaVon? •  I mean, if wages and prices rise at about the same amount, why is it a problem? •  Why would anybody ever do what Paul Volcker did in 1982—deliberately trigger a nasty episode of depression economics in order to push inflaVon down? Ladies and Gentlemen, to Your i>Clickers... •  Which Star Trek movie grossed the most, controlling for inflaVon? –  A. Star Trek: The MoVon Picture –  B. Star Trek (2009) –  C. Galaxy Quest –  D. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn –  E. Star Trek IV: Star Trek at the Monterey Acquarium The Numbers •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  STTMP: STWK: STSP: STVH: STFF: STUC: STG: STFC: STI: STN: ST (Reboot): $82 $79 $76 $110 $52 $75 $76 $92 $70 $43 $258 The InflaVon ­Adjusted Numbers •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  STTMP: STWK: STSP: STVH: STFF: STUC: STG: STFC: STI: STN: ST (Reboot): $262 $181 $163 $217 $93 $121 $112 $129 $93 $52 $258 InflaVon Deranges the Price System •  A market economy works by people using prices to calculate what to do •  And a market economy works well when prices reflect actual social values and scarciVes –  That is, when low ­priced things are “cheap” in the sense that they use up liAle of our resources; and high ­priced things are “valuable” and hence worth making •  InflaVon makes these calculaVons difficult, and error ­ridden InflaVon Is Unjust •  John Maynard Keynes: –  Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a conVnuing process of inflaVon, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their ciVzens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. –  The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the exisVng distribuVon of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectaVons or desires, become 'profiteers,' who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflaVonism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. –  As the inflaVon proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relaVons between debtors and creditors, which form the ulVmate foundaVon of capitalism, become so uAerly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth ­geyng degenerates into a gamble and a loAery. –  Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the exisVng basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destrucVon, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose. Test Your Knowledge •  What happens to the quanVty equaVon Y = (M/P) • V when you are at “full employment”, when Y = Y*? •  Why does the Phillips Curve slope down? •  What is the natural rate of unemployment u*? •  How many significant shizs in inflaVon expectaVons have there been in the post ­WWII U.S.? •  When did they occur? •  Why is inflaVon worth worrying about? ...
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This note was uploaded on 07/15/2011 for the course ECON 1 taught by Professor Martholney during the Fall '08 term at Berkeley.

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