RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 35637358 LA English T1 Reducing inflation : motivation and strategy A1 Romer, Christina., Romer, David., PB University of Chicago Press PP Chicago YR 1997 SN 0226724840 9780226724843 AB In this volume, sixteen distinguished economists analyze the appropriateness of low inflation as a goal for monetary policy and discuss strategies for reducing inflation. The authors investigate both day-to-day issues in the conduct of monetary policy and fundamental reforms of monetary institutions. Using a wide range of data and analytical techniques, these papers seek to answer important questions about the wisdom and methods of reducing inflation. Section I explores inflation's effects and costs. Essays in this section investigate the reasons that inflation causes so much unhappiness to ordinary people, the potentially large benefits of reducing inflation to zero through its impact on the tax system, and inflation's effects on the efficiency of the labor market and the equilibrium unemployment rate. Section II moves beyond the goals of policy to consider the obstacles facing central bankers. One essay investigates the accuracy and precision of statistical estimates of the natural rate of unemployment, which is a frequently used indicator in the formulation of monetary policy. Another essay considers possible explanations for what went wrong in the 1970s, the only peacetime period in modern U.S. history when prices rose by a substantial amount for a sustained period. A third essay argues that bottlenecks and shortages may be important to inflation, and explores the possibility that a novel indicator of shortages might prove to be a useful guide to the conduct of monetary policy. The papers in the final section assess the contributions of different institutions to the success of monetary policy in the United States, Germany, and a wide range of other countries. Looking systematically at the various sources of failures in monetary policy, one essay suggests that imperfect understanding of how the economy functions has been a common source of monetary policy mistakes. Other essays discuss why inflation differs across the countries and explore the success of Germany's Bundesbank in keeping inflation low. This timely volume should be read by anyone who studies or conducts monetary policy.