The “Rat Pack” loses one member (Australia)

From the abstract:

This paper studies the Great Inflation in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Newspaper coverage and policies, and the different movement in each country away from 1970s views. I argue that to understand the course of policy in each country, it is crucial to use the monetary policy neglect hypothesis, which claims that the Great Inflation occurred because policymakers delegated inflation control to nonmonetary devices. This hypothesis helps explain why, unlike Canada, Australia and New Zealand continued to suffer high inflation in the mid-1980s. The delayed disinflation in these countries reflected the continuing importance accorded to nonmonetary views of inflation.

Before that, Robert Hetzel wrote in “Arthur Burns and Inflation”:

How did Burns view macroeconomic policy as an economist? Most generally, Burns had a credit view of monetary policy. That is, monetary policy worked through its influence on the credit market. However, monetary policy was only one factor affecting credit markets. At times, in its influence on inflation, monetary policy could be overwhelmed by other factors. More specifically, Burns had a real or nonmonetary view of inflation. That is, inflation could arise from a variety of sources other than just money. He believed that a central bank could cause inflation by monetizing government deficits but did not attribute inflation to that source in the early 1970s. Instead, he attributed it to the exercise of monopoly power by unions and large corporations.

If conventional monetary policy weapons were powerless to deal with these forces, then perhaps direct controls might work. Accordingly, President Nixon imposed wage and price controls on August 15, 1971.

Only missing from the “Rat Pack” (of Anglo Saxon countries) is the UK.

Read the whole article here.

About the Author

Marcus Nunes
João Marcus Marinho Nunes is a partner of Phynance Estratégias Quantitativas e Investimentos and a professor of Economics at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil. He also blogs here:

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