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The Causes, Costs and Compensations of Inflation

An Investigation of Three Problems in Monetary Theory William Oliver Coleman, Reader, The Australian National University, Australia
This book explores the causes, costs and benefits of inflation. It argues that while the cause of inflation is essentially monetary, the costs and benefits of inflation lie in inflation’s distortion of the economy's responses to real shocks.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84542 484 8
Availability: Out of Stock
Paperback Price: $64.00 Web: $51.20
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 467 6
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic History
  • Financial Economics and Regulation
  • History of Economic Thought
This book explores the causes, costs and benefits of inflation. It argues that while the cause of inflation is essentially monetary, the costs and benefits of inflation lie in inflation’s distortion of the economy's responses to real shocks.

The book begins by securing the Quantity Theory of Money from certain critiques. The theory is defended from the ‘fiscal theory of the price level’ by a refinement of the theory of money demand, and from post Keynesianism by the construction of a theory of the supply of inside money. To cope with the endogeneity of outside money, a simple and tractable neo-Wicksellian theory of inflation is advanced, which is shown to exhibit a striking homology with the Quantity Theory. The author then traces the costliness of inflation, not to any disturbance of the money market, but to the damage inflation does to the bond market’s function of sharing out disturbances to consumption caused by technological shocks. The same damage, however, imparts an egalitarian dynamic to the accumulation of wealth, which will not occur without risky inflation.

The Causes, Costs and Compensations of Inflation will be of great interest to policy makers, central bankers, researchers, and both post-graduate and undergraduate students in macroeconomics, money and banking.
‘It is difficult to give justice to this intriguing book within the confines of a short review.’
– Ernst Juerg Weber, History of Economics Review

‘Coleman’s book provides an impressively clear, lively, and intuitive discussion of three of the most important issues in all of monetary economics. I recommend it highly to all readers with an interest in these issues.’
– Peter N. Ireland, Journal of Economic Literature

‘William Coleman’s book offers a highly original and insightful discussion
of the state of modern monetary theory. Professor Coleman covers difficult
issues with a lightness of touch that makes for a very readable discussion. It will benefit students as well as professional economists and
policymakers.’
– Kevin Dowd, University of Nottingham, UK
Contents: Part I: Preliminaries 1. A Statement of the Problem Part II: Inflation in a Risk Free World 2. The Theory of the Demand for Money 3. A Theory of the Supply of Money 4. The Quantity Theory of Money 5. Inflation Without a Quantity of Money: The Wicksellian Approach Part III: Inflation in a Risky World 6. Technological Risk and the Social Function of Real Debt 7. Monetary Risk and the Social Function of Money Debt 8. The Quantity Theory in a Risky World 9. Wicksellianism in a Risky World Part IV: The Cost of Inflation 10. The Cost of Inflation as the Cost of Moneylessness 11. The Cost of Inflation as the Cost of Creditlessness 12. A Summarization of Results References Index