Quarterly Review 1522

Defending Zero Inflation: All for Naught

W. Lee Hoskins

Spring 1991

Economists and policymakers disagree on the lengths central banks should go in pursuit of price stability and, in fact, on exactly what price stability means. This essay advocates that central banks try to maintain stable price levels in their countries, and it argues that the benefits of achieving this objective are worth the transition costs. The essay reviews some of the relevant academic literature on the economic effects of inflation and specifically addresses the issues of transition cost, fiscal dominance, and credibility.

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