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The Great Inflation 1939-1951

In two world wars and their aftermaths inflation has become familiar to the people of most countries as a threat or an actuality. Yet, despite the volume of experience so accumulated and the amount of attention so directed to it, one cannot say that there is general agreement as to how it can best be defined, how the threat of it can be assessed, or how the extent to which it has proceeded can be measured.

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A .J. Brown

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Perum paṇavīkkam 1939-1951


Oxford University Press

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For, despite its painful familiarity, inflation is, from the economist’s point of view, an elusive phenomenon-or, perhaps more correctly, an clusive and bewildering variety of phenomena. The word itself is used to describe several different processes, or states, some- times with prefixes which help to identify what is referred to, sometimes without. Thus, people speak of price inflation, mean- ing an inordinate rise of the general level of prices; of income inflation (or of the inflation of some section of total income, such as wages or profits); of currency inflation, meaning simply an excessive increase in the supply of money, without any necessary reference to what has happened to prices; of cost inflation, meaning that the prices of factors of production have risen; or of suppressed inflation, meaning that, in all the circum- stances, certain specific controls are the only bulwark against an inordinate increase of costs, prices, incomes, or of all three.


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