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Obligational Markets and the Mechanics of Inflation

  • Michael L. Wachter
  • Oliver E. Williamson

The issues that concern us are how wage and price-setting procedures vary with the nature of the good or service being exchanged and what the implications of different procedures for understanding the mechanics of inflation are. We argue that parties to nonstandardized (idiosyncratic) exchange have incentives to regularize trading relations, that this involves devising a governance structure to harmonize the exchange relation, that quantity rather than price bears the brunt of interim adjustments in these circumstances, and that long and variable price lags arise in this way. But while the effects of an inflationary disturbance are more spread out on this account -- which is to say that obligational market exchange relations does, however, complicate the problem of bringing an exogenous inflationary stimulus under control. Macroeconomics is thus linked with microeconomic contracting practices.

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Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (1978)
Issue (Month): 2 (Autumn)
Pages: 549-571

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Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:9:y:1978:i:autumn:p:549-571
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