inflation

inflation
A rise in the general level of prices in an economy which, if it continues, must bring about an increase in the money supply. Economists have offered a number of different explanations for inflation, and though it is generally accepted that excess aggregate demand is typically responsible (‘too much money chasing too few goods’), there is no accepted version of how this situation is created in the first place. A major axis of debate is about whether inflation is demand-led or induced by rising costs. Among the factors said to contribute to the latter are excess money-wage increases, administered price increases, import cost rises, rigidity in the distribution of investment and resources between industrial sectors, and inflationary expectations. What does seem clear is that, although inflation does not affect the real value of average living standards, it tends to redistribute real living standards among groups in an arbitrary way according to their ability to adjust the money value of their incomes to the general rise in the price-level. This engenders social tensions and conflict and these consequences have also attracted the interest of sociologists.
Though early sociological studies of inflation claimed to be addressing unexamined residual categories in economic theory, most later accounts sought not to displace, but rather to supplement the work of economists. The inflation-causing factors emphasized as the basis of difference between inflation-prone and price-stable industrial cultures may be classed as normative and structural. The normative argument, clearly influenced by Emile Durkheim's concept of egoism, is that in a market society , inequalities in income are not governed by some moral standard of a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. They reflect, instead, arbitrary variations in the market power of both individuals and organized groups. The extent to which resentment is engendered will depend on the degree to which there is a general acceptance of individualism and competitiveness as values in themselves. Resentment, in turn, sets off leap-frogging attempts by groups to advance their relative standing.
However, the effect of normative causes will be mediated by various structural factors, notably the extent to which the differential ability of groups to enhance their incomes is stabilized or regulated by law and institutional controls that promote trust between groups; the productive capacity of the economy, especially the degree to which claims are pursued against a surplus that is growing rapidly, or is fixed or increasing only slowly; and whether gains in profitability are reinvested in income-earning industrial capacity or siphoned off into financial speculation whose returns are not enjoyed by the workforce at large.
The best summary of the sociological literature on inflation is’s Inflation and Social Conflict (1986).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую
Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Inflation — Inflation …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • INFLATION — Phénomène économique majeur de la période ouverte par la Seconde Guerre mondiale, multiforme par l’échelle (inflation rampante, hyperinflation), la durée (inflation courte, inflation longue) ou le lieu (pays industrialisés, pays en développement) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Inflation — Sf std. (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Amerikanische Entlehnung von l. īnflātio ( ōnis) das Anschwellen , eigentlich das Sich Aufblasen , zu l. īnflāre hineinblasen, aufblasen , zu l. flāre blasen und l. in . Das Wort bezeichnet zunächst das Vergrößern… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • inflation — I (decrease in value of currency) noun boost in prices, currency devaluation, decrease in purchasing power, high prices, hike in prices, jump in prices, price increase, substantial rise of prices, undue expansion of currency, upturn in prices II… …   Law dictionary

  • Inflation — In*fla tion, n. [L. inflatio: cf. F. inflation.] 1. The act or process of inflating, or the state of being inflated, as with air or gas; distention; expansion; enlargement. Boyle. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being puffed up, as with pride;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Inflation —   Inflation is a time of generally rising prices. See also Hyper Inflation …   International financial encyclopaedia

  • Inflation — (v. lat.), Aufblähung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Inflation — Inflation, lat. deutsch, Aufblähung …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • inflation — mid 14c., swelling caused by gathering of wind in the body; flatulence; figuratively, outbursts of pride, from L. inflationem (nom. inflatio) a puffing up; flatulence, noun of action from pp. stem of inflare blow into, puff up, from in into (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Inflation — »Geldentwertung (durch starke Vermehrung der umlaufenden Geldmenge)«: Das Fremdwort wurde im 19. Jh. aus lat. inflatio »das Sichaufblasen; das Aufschwellen« entlehnt und zunächst nur als medizinischer Fachausdruck verwendet. Die moderne Bedeutung …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • inflation — [n] increase, swelling aggrandizement, blowing up, boom, boost, buildup, distension, enhancement, enlargement, escalation, expansion, extension, hike, intensification, prosperity, puffiness, rise, spread, tumefaction; concepts 335,763,780 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”