The meaning of an inflation crisis: steel, Enron, and macroeconomic policy
How do crises shape policy possibilities? While some scholars cast crises as material shocks, this paper offers a Post Keynesian or constructivist theory of crises as events that agents interpret. It contrasts opposing Galbraithian and classical interpretations of the 1962 steel crisis and the 2000-2001 California energy crisis. Whereas Galbraithian interpretations of the former stressed abuses of market power and legitimated wage-price guideposts, classical interpretations of the latter stressed regulatory excesses and delayed the imposition of price caps. This paper concludes that the absence of wage-price guidelines compelled the post-1970s use of austerity to limit inflation, explaining reduced U.S. growth.
Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
Economic Theory not elsewhere classified