Introduction

  • Arthur Vogt
  • János Barta
Chapter

Abstract

The phenomenon of inflation is perhaps as old as money itself. Already in the old testament (Haggai 1,6) one can read: “You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” The first monography which treats inflation was written by the scholastic philosopher Oresme (14th century). Copernicus (1517) wrote the earlist entirely empirical study of the monetary question. Galilei (1627) favoured the relative change, not the absolut one, when comparing monetary amounts (cf. sections 6.1, 6.2). Leibniz (1686) proposed the mean price of cereal as a measure of monetary value. However, Mitchell (1938) writes:

It is a curious fact that men did not attempt to measure changes in the level of prices until after they had learned to measure such subtle things as the weight of the atmosphere, the velocity of sound...Their tardiness in attacking that problem is the more strange because price changes had frequently been a subject of acrimonious debate among publicists and a cause of popular agitation. Perhaps disinclination on the part of “natural philosophers” to soil their hands with such vulgar subjects as the prices of provision was partly responsible for the delay...

Keywords

Income 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Vogt
    • 1
  • János Barta
    • 2
  1. 1.BurgdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.SavosaSwitzerland

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