Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK House Prices Momentum Crash Threatens Mini Bear Market 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Perfect Storm - This Fourth Turning has Over a Decade of Continuous Storms to Come - James_Quinn
3.UK House Prices Momentum Crash Warns of 2017 Bear Market - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Billionaire Investors Backing A Marijuana Boom In 2017 - OilPrice_Com
5.Emerging Markets & Basic Materials Stocks Breaking Out Together - Rambus_Chartology
6.Global Currency Reserve At Risk - Jim_Willie_CB
7.Gold and Silver: Your Stomach Is Probably Wrenching Right Now - The_Gold_Report
8.Warning: The Fed Is Preparing to Crash the Financial System Again - Graham_Summers
9.Basic Materials and Commodities Analysis and Trend Forecasts - Rambus_Chartology
10.Discover Why A Major American Revolution Is Brewing - Harry_Dent
Last 7 days
4 Insights for Adjusting Your Portfolio in a Rate-hike Environment - 19th Aug 17
Gold Direction Indicator - 19th Aug 17
Historical Inevitability and Gold and Silver Ownership - 19th Aug 17
You Are Being Lied To About “Low” Gold Demand - 19th Aug 17
This is Why Cocoa's Crash Was a Perfect Setup - 19th Aug 17
Gold, Silver Consolidate On Last Weeks Gains, Palladium Surges 36% YTD To 16 Year High - 19th Aug 17
North Korea Is Far From Being Irrational… It Has A Plan - 18th Aug 17
US Civil War - FUNCTIONAL ILLITERATES TRYING TO ERASE HISTORY - 18th Aug 17
Bitcoin Hits New All-Time High Over $4,400 As It Catches Paypal In Total Market Cap - 17th Aug 17
3 Psychological Ingredients behind Great Web Content - 17th Aug 17
The War on Cash - Rogoff, Orwell and Kafka - 17th Aug 17
The Stock Market Guns of August, Trade Set-Up & Removing your Rose Tinted Glasses - 16th Aug 17
Stocks, Bonds, Interest Rates, and Serbia, Camp Kotok 2017 - 16th Aug 17
U.S. Stock Market: Sunrise ... Sunset - 16th Aug 17
The Next Tech Crash Could Delay Your Retirement by a Decade - 15th Aug 17
Gold and Silver Precious Metals Nearing Breakout - 15th Aug 17
North Korea Showdown: Pivotal Market Turning Point - 15th Aug 17
Tech Stocks DOT COM Bubble Do-Over? - 14th Aug 17
Deep State Conspiracy or Chaos - 14th Aug 17
From the Trans-Atlantic Axis and the Trans-Asian Axis - 14th Aug 17
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Underway - 14th Aug 17
The Islamic State Jihadi Pivot to Asia - 13th Aug 17
Potential Pivots Upcoming for Stocks and Gold - 13th Aug 17
North Korean Chinese Proxy vs US Military Empire Trending Towards Nuclear War! - 12th Aug 17
Gold Stocks Coiled Spring - 12th Aug 17
Neil Howe: The Amazon-Walmart Rivalry Will Determine the Future of Retail - 12th Aug 17
How to Alton Towers Half Price Discount Entry 2017 and 2018, Any Time, No Pre-Booking! - 12th Aug 17
Top 3 Technical Trading Tools Part 2: Relative Strength Index (RSI) - 11th Aug 17
What Makes Women Better Investors - 11th Aug 17
Crude Oil Price Precious Metals Link in August - 11th Aug 17
Influencer Marketing Predictions All Businesses Should Take Into Account - 11th Aug 17
Really Bad Ideas - Government Debt Isn’t Actually Debt - 10th Aug 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Tracking World Hyperinflation - The Data from Argentina to Zimbabwe

Economics / HyperInflation Oct 04, 2012 - 03:19 PM GMT

By: Submissions

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleSteve H. Hanke writes: Hyperinflation is an economic malady that arises under extreme conditions: war, political mismanagement, the transition from a command to market-based economy. There are barriers to the recording and publication of reliable inflation statistics. Overcoming these barriers is an arduous and painstaking process. This article and attached table – an abbreviated version of a Cato Working Paper – supply, for the first time, data on all 56 episodes of hyperinflation, including several which had previously gone unreported.


The literature on hyperinflation is replete with ad hoc definitions, vague, ill-defined terminology, and a lack of concern for clear, uniform metrics. We attempted to fill the void.

The Hyperinflation Table is compiled in a systematic and uniform way. It utilises clean and consistent inflation metrics, indicates the start and end dates of each episode, identifies the month of peak hyperinflation, and signifies the currency that was in circulation, as well as the method used to calculate inflation rates. We soon learned why no such table exists. We frequently found leads suggesting new episodes, only to discover that the proper documentation of their source was lacking. Even in cases in which we thought replication would be straightforward, it was not.

The former Soviet bloc countries were a particular source of frustration. The data had seemingly been lost in time. After scouring the Library of Congress and the Joint World Bank-IMF Library, as well as a variety of online databases, we finally came across a series of World Bank publications that ostensibly contained the requisite information. But, much of the data were not presented in a usable form. The challenges we faced with the Soviet Bloc were compounded as we looked to the Balkan States and began to investigate hyperinflation episodes of the 1990s. Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska posed the most difficult problems.

In another case, we were able to overcome data deficiencies in a different way. We knew that the Free City of Danzig engineered a currency reform in 1923, following inflationary developments similar to those that had visited Germany. Suspecting that this currency reform was enacted in response to a case of hyperinflation, we were forced to employ creative methods to estimate Danzig’s inflation rate, using purchasing power parity (PPP) to overcome the obstacle.

One 'missing' case was easier to find. We discovered the data for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s August 1998 hyperinflation using the IMF’s International Financial Statistics database. Another largely unreported hyperinflation episode occurred in the Philippines. In 1942, during its occupation of what was then the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Japan replaced the Philippine peso with Japanese war notes. Over-issuance of these notes, dubbed ‘Mickey Mouse money’, resulted in a hyperinflation that peaked in January 1944. The US Army added a small amount of fuel to the Philippine hyperinflation fire by distributing counterfeit Japanese war notes to Philippine guerilla troops.

One of the biggest problems encountered when discussing hyperinflation is the extreme size of the monthly inflation rates. For example, in July 1946, Hungary had a monthly inflation rate of 4.19 × 1016 %. We included two metrics that help put hyperinflation into perspective: the equivalent daily inflation rate and the time required for prices to double. After years of disorder in the study of hyperinflation, we can now, with The Hyperinflation Table, finally let the data speak for themselves.

This article and the table on p. 11-12 represent an abbreviated version of "World Hyperinflations, a Cato Working Paper" by Steve H. Hanke and Nicholas Krus, August 2012, available from Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20001. Their working paper is available at http:// tinyurl.com/worldhyperinflations. Steve H. Hanke and Nicholas Krus are respectively Professor of Applied Economics at The Johns Hopkins University and research associate at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise. Contact: hanke@jhu.edu.

By Steve H. Hanke and Nicholas Krus

www.cato.org/people/hanke.html

Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Prof. Hanke is also a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; a Distinguished Professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia; a Senior Advisor at the Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Research Institute in Beijing; a Special Counselor to the Center for Financial Stability in New York; a member of the National Bank of Kuwait’s International Advisory Board (chaired by Sir John Major); a member of the Financial Advisory Council of the United Arab Emirates; and a contributing editor at Globe Asia Magazine.

Copyright © 2012 Steve H. Hanke - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife