The German Inflation from 1914 to 1924 has been a decisive period in German history (Feldman 1997). The inflation produced a massive redistribution of wealth and was accompanied by great political and social turmoil, culminating in the hyperinflation of 1923. The inflation became a „German trauma“ and a constant reference point for historians and monetary policy makers ever since (Hüther 2021). Yet the German inflation has also been a reference point for the dominant economic theories of inflation in the second half of the 20th century. Cagan (1956) as well as Sargent and Wallace (1973) looked to the German hyperinflation in order to explain the monetary dynamics. More recently, several economists have rediscovered the German inflation as an important field of study for trying to understand the precise relationships of expectations, uncertainty, and monetary dynamics, as well as their effects (e.g. Lopez/Mitchener 2018; Seghezza/Morelli 2020). While historians and economists may differ in methods and research strategies, the German inflation offers a unique opportunity for exploring a common interest in investigating the underlying structures, conditions, and developments of expectation formation.
In order to open up a dialogue between historians and economists interested in the question if and what we might still be able to learn from the German inflation the Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik is going to publish a Special Issue on the German Inflation (see: URL: <https://jbnst.de/en/>). In preparation for this, the guest editors invite contributions for a paper development workshop (via zoom) that is scheduled for November 18–19, 2021.
We welcome empirical and theoretical contributions from history and economics that focus on the German inflation but may also take a comparative perspective. Submissions for the workshop should ideally be first drafts (10–20 pages) clarifying the methodology of the paper as well as sources and arguments. However, we also accept full paper drafts.
The contributions can address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Expectation formation and political uncertainty, central bank behavior and/or movements of international capital markets
- Knowledge of prices and expectation formation over time
- Macroeconomic models of learning and their meaning for explaining and understanding the German (hyper)inflation
- Economic, social and/or political effects of the German inflation
- Interest group behavior and adaptation to inflationary dynamics
- The legacy of the German inflation in a long-term perspective
Drafts should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30th, 2021.
Please also contact Sebastian Teupe for any additional information.
Phillip Cagan, The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation, in: Milton Friedman (Hrsg.): Studies in the quantity theory of money, Chicago 1956, S. 25–117.
Gerald D. Feldman, The Great Disorder. Politics, economics, and society in the German inflation, 1914 – 1924, New York 1997.
Michael Hüther, Der lange Schatten der Hyperinflation, in: List Forum für Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik 46, 2021, S. 273–298.
Jose A. Lopez; Kris James Mitchener, Uncertainty and hyperinflation. European inflation dynamics after World War I., in: The Economic Journal 131 (January), 2018, S. 450–475.
Thomas J. Sargent; Neil Wallace, Rational expectations and the dynamics of hyperinflation, in: International Economic Review, 1973, S. 328–350.
Elena Seghezza; Pierluigi Morelli, Was a sudden stop at the origin of German hyperinflation?, in: Financial History Review 27 (2), 2020, S. 161–186.