Rational Expectations and Inflation: Third Edition, Edition 3

Princeton University Press
2
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This collection of essays uses the lens of rational expectations theory to examine how governments anticipate and plan for inflation, and provides insight into the pioneering research for which Thomas Sargent was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in economics. Rational expectations theory is based on the simple premise that people will use all the information available to them in making economic decisions, yet applying the theory to macroeconomics and econometrics is technically demanding. Here, Sargent engages with practical problems in economics in a less formal, noneconometric way, demonstrating how rational expectations can satisfactorily interpret a range of historical and contemporary events. He focuses on periods of actual or threatened depreciation in the value of a nation's currency. Drawing on historical attempts to counter inflation, from the French Revolution and the aftermath of World War I to the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Sargent finds that there is no purely monetary cure for inflation; rather, monetary and fiscal policies must be coordinated.

This fully expanded edition of Rational Expectations and Inflation includes Sargent's 2011 Nobel lecture, "United States Then, Europe Now." It also features new articles on the macroeconomics of the French Revolution and government budget deficits.

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About the author

Thomas J. Sargent is professor of economics at New York University. His books include Robustness and The Big Problem of Small Change (both Princeton). He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in economics.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
May 5, 2013
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Pages
392
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ISBN
9781400847648
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Banks & Banking
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Andrew Ross Sorkin
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“Too Big To Fail is too good to put down. . . . It is the story of the actors in the most extraordinary financial spectacle in 80 years, and it is told brilliantly.” —The Economist 

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“Sorkin’s densely detailed and astonishing narrative of the epic financial crisis of 2008 is an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account.” —John Gapper, Financial Times 

A brilliantly reported true-life thriller that goes behind the scenes of the financial crisis on Wall Street and in Washington, the basis for the HBO film 

In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin-a New York Times columnist and one of the country's most respected financial reporters-delivers the first definitive blow- by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, he re-creates all the drama and turmoil of these turbulent days, revealing never-before-disclosed details and recounting how, motivated as often by ego and greed as by fear and self-preservation, the most powerful men and women in finance and politics decided the fate of the world's economy.
Thomas J. Sargent
The Big Problem of Small Change offers the first credible and analytically sound explanation of how a problem that dogged monetary authorities for hundreds of years was finally solved. Two leading economists, Thomas Sargent and François Velde, examine the evolution of Western European economies through the lens of one of the classic problems of monetary history--the recurring scarcity and depreciation of small change. Through penetrating and clearly worded analysis, they tell the story of how monetary technologies, doctrines, and practices evolved from 1300 to 1850; of how the "standard formula" was devised to address an age-old dilemma without causing inflation.

One big problem had long plagued commodity money (that is, money literally worth its weight in gold): governments were hard-pressed to provide a steady supply of small change because of its high costs of production. The ensuing shortages hampered trade and, paradoxically, resulted in inflation and depreciation of small change. After centuries of technological progress that limited counterfeiting, in the nineteenth century governments replaced the small change in use until then with fiat money (money not literally equal to the value claimed for it)--ensuring a secure flow of small change. But this was not all. By solving this problem, suggest Sargent and Velde, modern European states laid the intellectual and practical basis for the diverse forms of money that make the world go round today.

This keenly argued, richly imaginative, and attractively illustrated study presents a comprehensive history and theory of small change. The authors skillfully convey the intuition that underlies their rigorous analysis. All those intrigued by monetary history will recognize this book for the standard that it is.

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