Economic Theory and a Constant Worry Across Time: Institutional Failures in the Development of Theories of Inflation

  • Aleksandr Protasov


This chapter discusses a conflict theory of inflation—that one driver of inflation is distributional conflicts and it locates roots in conflict partly in the different rules and interests of fields. Not content to focus on Russian inflation as a phenomenon sui generis, this chapter uses the Russian case to dive into the thorny issue of what causes inflation to begin with. Inefficiencies and rent-seeking, among other practices, are built into existing Russian economic fields, such that competition for rents rather than returns on innovation contributes to inflationary pressures (although Protasov is careful not to exclude other usual macroeconomic variables). While the argument here has more than a passing resemblance to that of Mancur Olson, it does not postulate that distributional conflicts are a function of the quantity of economic associations alone, nor does he pin the blame on unions; rather, he points to fields that have crystallized into informal cartels.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksandr Protasov
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics, Department of Economic TheorySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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