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America's historical experience with low inflation

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  • J. Bradford DeLong

Abstract

The inflation of the 1970s was a marked deviation from America's typical peacetime historical pattern as a hard-money country. We should expect America to continue to be a hard-money--low inflation--country in the future, at least in peacetime. The low rate of future inflation that we thus forecast changes the balance of macroeconomic risks and opportunities. The risk of debt-deflation-mediated recessions is somewhat higher because a low trend rate of goods-and-services price index inflation somewhat increases the changes of deflation. But it does not raise such risks as much as one might think. The failure of the Fisher effect to hold empirically means that a low-inflation era will in all likelihood be a high real interest rate era. But such high real interest rates do not appear to significantly discourage investment or growth.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Bradford DeLong, 2000. "America's historical experience with low inflation," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 979-1006.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2000:p:979-1006
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2005. "Deflation and monetary policy in a historical perspective: remembering the past or being condemned to repeat it?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 799-844, October.

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