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Towards An Understanding of the Real Effects and Costs of Inflation

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  • Stanley Fischer
  • Franco Modigliani

Abstract

The organization of the paper is simple. We start by examining the real effects of anticipated inflation in an economy that has fully adapted to inflation. In particular, in this economy: (i) public institutions are fully attuned to inflation (or inflation proof), (ii) the same is true of private institutions, (iii) current and future inflation is fully reflected in inherited contracts, and (iv) future inflation is fully reflected in contracts for the future. After we have discussed the effects of anticipated inflation in this environment, we examine the real effects of inflation that arise as the assumptions (i) to (iv) are dropped one after the other. The effects cumulate in the sense that those present in the economy that has fully adapted to inflation are also present in economies with non-inflation proof institutions, and so on.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanley Fischer & Franco Modigliani, 1978. "Towards An Understanding of the Real Effects and Costs of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 0303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0303
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aaron, Henry J, 1976. "Inflation and the Income Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 193-199, May.
    2. Nelson, Charles R, 1976. "Inflation and Rates of Return on Common Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 471-483, May.
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    4. Bach, G L & Stephenson, James B, 1974. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-13, February.
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    10. John B. Shoven & Jeremy I. Bulow, 1975. "Inflation Accounting and Nonfinancial Corporate Profits: Physical Assets," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(3), pages 557-612.
    11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    12. Arthur M. Okun, 1975. "Inflation: Its Mechanics and Welfare Costs," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(2), pages 351-402.
    13. John B. Shoven & Jeremy I. Bulow, 1976. "Inflation Accounting and Nonfinancial Corporate Profits: Financial Assets and Liabilities," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(1), pages 15-66.
    14. Lintner, John, 1975. "Inflation and Security Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 259-280, May.
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