After years of austerity and deflationary pressures, the fear of inflation has once again reared its head. The year 2021 recorded the largest increase in the Consumer Price Index since 1981 . According to some economists, this is the first generational experience of inflation for Americans born after 1980. Debates have ensued regarding the causes of inflation, ranging from supply bottlenecks to rising labor costs. Such debates have subsequently informed policy, with some arguing for increasing interest rates while others call for increased investments in essential sectors and strategic price controls. This panel will discuss and contextualize current debates over the causes for, and policy responses to, inflation.
Isabella M. Weber is a is political economist working on China, global trade and the history of economic thought. She is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Research Leader for China at the Political Economy Research Institute.
Tim Barker is completing a PhD in history from Harvard University. He is also on the editorial boards of Phenomenal World and Dissent.
Aaron Benanav is an economic historian and social theorist. Currently, Benanav holds a postdoctoral researcher position at Humboldt University of Berlin. He is an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University.