Inflation, the State and Economic Policy
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This book traces the development of counter-inflation policy in Australia between the end of World War II and the 1980s. A focus on this specific aspect of policy sheds light on the historical evolution of the role of the state in capitalist society much more broadly. Furthermore, although I focus on Australia, and the particulars of this history are unique to that country, the broad shape of the evolution and the tensions that drove it have much in common with the rest of the advanced capitalist world. Some aspects set Australia apart in important ways — such as the centralised wage bargaining system — but many others are shared — the experience of a long postwar boom followed by stagflation, the profit squeeze of the 1970s, successive waves of financial innovation and the monetarist experiment. The peculiarity of the centralised bargaining system is in itself a variation of interest to the rest of the world, because such an institution was sometimes held up elsewhere as a potential solution to macroeconomic dilemmas: by looking at the Australian experience we can get a sense of how it affected policy options — and how it did not.
KeywordsInterest Rate Monetary Policy Aggregate Demand Full Employment Price Stability
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