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Early Inflation Tax Theory and Estimates

Early Inflation Tax Theory and Estimates 1. The Rediscovery of the Inflation Tax Concept in the 1950s Asked to identify the source of the inflation tax concept and the time at which it originated, most economists would probably refer today’s inquirer to Milton Friedman’s Essays in Positive Economics (1953). In fact, so did Friedman himself (1971, 846) when, returning to the subject nearly two decades later, he opened his article by stating that “it has become common to regard inflation . . . as a tax on cash balances,” Correspondence may be addressed to Ephraim Kleiman, Department of Economics, Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel; e-mail: msefraim@mscc.huji.ac.il. An earlier version of this essay was presented at the annual conference of the History of Economics Society in Charleston, S.C., 20 – 23 June 1997. I wish to express my debt to Vito Tanzi, without whose provocation this article, which he suggested many years ago, would never have been written, and participants at the conference and my colleague Haim Barkai for helpful comments. Support for research assistance from the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel and Leonid Kharkhurin’s help with translation from the Russian are gratefully acknowledged. History of Political Economy 32:2 © http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Political Economy Duke University Press

Early Inflation Tax Theory and Estimates

History of Political Economy , Volume 32 (2) – Jun 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0018-2702
eISSN
1527-1919
DOI
10.1215/00182702-32-2-233
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1. The Rediscovery of the Inflation Tax Concept in the 1950s Asked to identify the source of the inflation tax concept and the time at which it originated, most economists would probably refer today’s inquirer to Milton Friedman’s Essays in Positive Economics (1953). In fact, so did Friedman himself (1971, 846) when, returning to the subject nearly two decades later, he opened his article by stating that “it has become common to regard inflation . . . as a tax on cash balances,” Correspondence may be addressed to Ephraim Kleiman, Department of Economics, Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel; e-mail: msefraim@mscc.huji.ac.il. An earlier version of this essay was presented at the annual conference of the History of Economics Society in Charleston, S.C., 20 – 23 June 1997. I wish to express my debt to Vito Tanzi, without whose provocation this article, which he suggested many years ago, would never have been written, and participants at the conference and my colleague Haim Barkai for helpful comments. Support for research assistance from the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel and Leonid Kharkhurin’s help with translation from the Russian are gratefully acknowledged. History of Political Economy 32:2 ©

Journal

History of Political EconomyDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2000

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