Since 1970s when the world was experiencing an "age of inflation", a great volume of academic research about hyperinflation has been conducted. However, it is also true that parrot-like superficial talks abound, without questioning the economic, political and social foundations existing underneath the economic phenomenon.
Based on research results of contemporary economists, media reports and historical works, this book will be the most comprehensive narrative of all major events of hyperinflation worldwide from the turn of the first millennium to the mid-2010s. Firstly, it gives a brief illustration of the basic concepts of hyperinflation, starting with the definitions and price measurement. Then it traces and analyzes all major episodes of hyperinflation that occurred over the past two thousand years or so, from the earliest incidence to the four tidal waves in the 20th century, and to the three latest episodes in the 21st century. Using basic concepts in modern finance such as indexation and dollarization, this book explains why hyperinflation in some countries could explode into astronomical levels, while rhythms of hyperinflation in the 20th century world are in resonance of megatrends in world economy and politics. Finally, this book underscores the importance of policy making, institutional building and international relations in the process of hyperinflation and stabilization.
Scholars and students studying money and finance, economic history, international finance and economics will be attracted by this book.
Table of Contents
List of Figures. List of Tables. Preface. Acknowledgements Chapter I Introduction: Basic Concepts of Hyperinflation What is Hyperinflation? What Causes Hyperinflation? What are the Impacts of Hyperinflation? How to End Hyperinflation? Chapter II Monetary Adventures before the 20th Century Money and Inflation in the Ancient World Wang Mang: A Most Bizarre Adventure in Coinage The Roman Empire: Unstoppable Debasement Sung, Jurchen, and Mongol Rule: The World’s First Paper Currency Hyperinflation King Henry VIII: Great Debasement in Renaissance England The Ming and Ching: Aborted Paper Currencies amidst the Menace of Hyperinflation Paper Currency and American Revolution Assignats and Hyperinflation during the French Revolution Contrary Experiences of Inflation during America’s Civil War Chapter III The First Wave of Hyperinflation in the 20th Century: Germany, Russia, and CEE Countries in the 1920s Five Basic Facts of Hyperinflation during the 1920s The Gold Standard and Rise of the Banking Industry Alarm Bells for Hyperinflation: Lenin vs. Keynes The Treaty of Versailles, Reparations, and Germany’s Reaction Soviet Russia: Hyperinflation under "New Economic Policy" The Political Economy of Hyperinflation: Austria, Hungary, and Poland The League of Nations: An Emerging Role of Multilateralism Hyperinflation and the Rise of the Nazi Regime Chapter IV The Second World War and the Upsurge of Hyperinflation in the 1940s Greece: Wars and Long Stabilization Italy: Rising Inflation in the Last Stage of the War Hungary: The World Record Hyperinflation Japan: Surge in Inflation after the War The Philippines and South Korea: Hyperinflations Before and After Germany: Bitter Escape from Hyperinflation Chapter V War Finance and its Aftermath: China in the 1940s War Finance and High Inflation in the First Half of the 1940s Internal War and Hyperinflation Waves during the late 1940s Ending Hyperinflation in China Mainland and Taiwan Appendix Note: Friedman’s View on FDR, Silver and China Chapter VI Hyperinflations in an "Age of Inflation" The Collapse of the Bretton-Woods System and Advent of an "Age of Inflation" Bolivia: The First Peacetime Hyperinflation in the World Brazil and Argentina: Hyperinflation in Parallel Israel and Turkey: Contrasting Experiences of High Inflation Chile, Nicaragua, and Peru: Hyperinflation in Unsettled Societies Zaïre (Congo) and Angola: Hyperinflations in Failing States Chapter VII A Wave of Hyperinflation in Transition Economies Repressed Inflation in Planned Economies Hyperinflations in Russia and Other USSR Successor States Twice the Hyperinflation in Yugoslavia Inflations and Hyperinflations in Eastern European Countries Fighting High Inflations: China and Vietnam in East Asia Chapter VIII World Trend Outliers: Zimbabwe and Venezuela in the 21st century The World Trend: A "Great Moderation" in the 21st Century Zimbabwe: A Hyperinflation that Ends Its Own Currency Venezuela: Heading to Hyperinflation and Crisis North Korea: "Unrepressed" Hyperinflation in a Hermit Kingdom Appendix Note: Did China Help? Chapter IX Conclusion References. Index
Liping He is Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Beijing Normal University. His research interests include international finance and economics.
Professor Liping He from Beijing Normal University has produced a most comprehensive and useful scholarly treatment of world hyperinflation. It is hot off the press. This is a welcomed addition to the literature. Indeed, Hyperinflation: A World History is destined to become a standard reference on the topic.
—Prof. Steve Hanke, Johns Hopkins University
This is an important contribution to the monetary history literature, one which ought to find its way into all serious university libraries, where it will be borrowed, bought and hopefully read by a wide range of economics students. I hope many will also buy a copy. After all, it will certainly hold its value better than many of the currencies that make an appearance in this book!
—Professor Laurence Copeland, Emeritus Professor of Finance, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University