tirsdag, december 05, 2006

Stiglitz og inflation

Joseph Stiglitz skriver en artikel for guardian bl.a. følgende:

Phelps' work helped us to understand the complexity of the relationship between inflation and unemployment, and the important role that expectations can play in that relationship. But it is a misuse of that analysis to conclude that nothing can be done about unemployment, or that monetary authorities should focus exclusively on inflation.

That view belongs to a school of modern macroeconomics that assumes rational expectations and perfectly functioning markets. In other words, individuals - usually assumed to be identical - fully use all available information to forecast the future in an environment of perfect competition, no capital market shortcomings, and full insurance of all risks. Not only are these assumptions absurd, but so are the conclusions: there is no involuntary unemployment, markets are fully efficient, and redistribution has no real consequence. But, while government policies, according to this school, are ineffective, that matters little. Because markets are always efficient, there is no need for government intervention. More perniciously, many supporters of this view, when confronted with the reality of unemployment, argue that it arises only because of government-imposed rigidities and trade unions. In their "ideal" world without either, there would, they claim, be no unemployment."

Via Mankiw