The Supply-Shock Explanation of the Great Stagflation Revisited

Alan S. Blinder, Jeremy B. Rudd

Chapter in NBER book The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking (2013), Michael D. Bordo and Athanasios Orphanides, editors (p. 119 - 175)
Conference held September 25-27, 2008
Published in June 2013 by University of Chicago Press
© 2013 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

Previous studies have concluded that the two OPEC shocks, the two roughly contemporaneous food price shocks, and the removal of wage-price controls in 1973-1974 played key roles in the macroeconomic events which constituted the Great Stagflation. This chapter reexamines the supply-shock explanation in the light of new facts, new models, and new econometric findings, and shows that the "old-fashioned" supply-shock explanation holds up quite well. It is organized as follows. Section 2.2 outlines and slightly modernizes the basic conceptual framework, reexamining it in the light of much new theory and many new empirical findings, while Section 2.3 takes a fresh look at the evidence on the Great Inflation in the United States, once again using new data, new theory, and new econometric findings. Section 2.4 deals with a series of objections to the supply-shock explanation, while Section 2.5 looks beyond the narrow historical confines of the 1972 to 1982 period, considering supply shocks both prior to and after the Great Stagflation. Section 2.6 concludes.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w14563, The Supply-Shock Explanation of the Great Stagflation Revisited, Alan S. Blinder, Jeremy B. Rudd
Commentary on this chapter: Discussion, Michael D. Bordo, Athanasios Orphanides
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