Central banks have fooled themselves into thinking they have power over inflation

The failures of central banks around the world to anticipate and control the current upsurge in inflation are now apparent to all. What has been going on with the highly technical models which economists in these institutions build to try and explain inflation? If we look under the bonnet, we find a debate which is […]

Does the productivity gap actually exist?

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Whoever wins the election tomorrow will have to grapple with what appears to be a fundamental economic problem. Estimated productivity growth in the UK is virtually at a standstill. The standard definition of productivity is the average output per employee across the economy as a whole, after adjusting output for inflation – or “real” output, […]

The so-called ‘output gap’: another piece of economic mumbo-jumbo

The concept of the’ output gap’ is central to mainstream macroeconomics. It is not merely of academic interest. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has a specific requirement to estimate the output gap, which it defines formally as “the difference between the current level of activity in the economy and the potential level it could […]

Why Can’t Debt Just be Inflated Away?

The debt problems which the UK and Europe currently face are essentially ones of political economy.  Basically, there is a lot of debt around and the simple question is: who is going to pay for it?  All the economic theory in the world does not get around this fundamental issue. Traditionally, bondholders paid.  The real […]