Inflation is a concept that most people have an intuitive sense of, but it can be trickier to understand than you might think. Inflation occurs when the general price level of goods and services increases in an economy over time, meaning that people need more money to purchase the same amount of stuff as before. As inflation increases (and prices go up), the purchasing power of money goes down—which means that it takes more dollars to buy things like food or rent, or other necessities.
1. The Inflation Deception by John Williams
The Inflation Deception by John Williams is a short, easy-to-read book that gives an excellent overview of how inflation works and how to spot it. It’s a good introduction to the topic and should be read by anyone who wants to understand inflation.
2. Out of the Wreckage by George Monbiot
George Monbiot is a writer I encourage everyone to read. He’s one of the few people in the world that has taken the time to understand what’s happening in our economy, and he explains it to us with clarity and ease. This book was written after the 2008 recession, but it still holds true today—it’s an important read for anyone who wants to understand inflation.
Monbiot starts by explaining how money works (not just for economists), leading into what inflation is, why it happens and how it affects your everyday life. He then talks about how we can prevent inflation from happening again and what we can do now that we know this information.
3. Economics in Two Lessons by John Quiggin
This is a book about the economics of John Maynard Keynes. It is a critique of the neoclassical school of economics, which held that free markets always lead to full employment and prosperity. Quiggin argues that this view was proven wrong in practice by the Great Depression and, later, by New Deal policies aimed at curbing unemployment and inflation. It’s also interesting for its discussion on why economists have been unable to reach an agreement on how best to deal with these problems.
4. Inflation Matters by Pete Comley
Inflation Matters is a collection of essays written by Pete Comley, an economist and author who has been writing about inflation for decades. The book focuses on the experience of inflation over the 20th century in the U.K. but also covers other countries around the world, including China and the US. The book’s main strength is its scope—it provides readers with an overview of how various nations have experienced inflation throughout their entire histories. Comley starts out by explaining what inflation means in simple terms, then moves into deeper topics such as economic cycles and monetary policy.
5. On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of Keynes by Axel Leijonhufvud
If you are interested in understanding how Keynesian economics works and what role money plays in the economy, this book is for you. This book covers: The role of government intervention in the economy (including monetary policy). How to understand Keynes’s ideas on economic theory. We hope this list of five books on inflation has helped you to understand this economic concept better. The next time you hear a politician blaming inflation on their opponents, take a deeper look at what they’re saying—it might be more complicated than it first appears.