(Oppdaterting: Tim Duy er ikke imponert. Matvarepriser til bunns, energipriser til topps:
Greece raised electricity prices for households by up to 15 percent this year to help state-controlled power company PPC cover costs for transmission rights, the government said on Sunday…
…They come after a 9.2 percent average increase in prices last year.)
Det er forventet at i store finansielle kriser vil fallet i etterspørsel presse prisene ned for å oppnå en ny likevekt. I tilfeller så ekstreme som Hellas vil det være sterkt press nedover på priser – hvertfall hva man forventer. Så hvordan forklarer man disse tilsynelatende motstridende tilstandene?
Tyler Cowan lister opp noen muligheter:
1. The true rate of inflation is much lower — in fact there is deflation — because of reporting biases in the Greek CPI. That’s putting a lot of faith in numbers we do not see, plus it does not explain why the recorded numbers still show some upward pressure.
2. For structural adjustment reasons Greece needs a big cut in real wages, but AD is holding up OK. It’s hard for me to believe the last part of that one.
3. You can have a major and sustained whack to AD, but still have rising prices. How so? Would Lieutenant Colombo be happy with this?
4. Scott Sumner has a view which I do not understand, and thus do not wish to try to state, but it has something to do with not really believing in the concept of price inflation.
5. Prices are sticky, AD is falling, and almost all of the adjustment is in quantities. Yet this still doesn’t explain why prices are inching up, and furthermore it is grossly at variance with the actual empirical literature on price stickiness (much neglected in the blogosphere I should add), which is not nearly as strong as wage stickiness.
6. There are multiple equilibria, and Greece is moving from a perception of having “nearly West European levels of trust and cooperation” to having “Balkan levels of trust and cooperation,” and that is causing real wages and investment to plummet. I’ve toyed with this hypothesis in the past, but I would be the first to admit it is highly speculative. I do still think it is part of the explanation.
There is a similar puzzle for some of the other eurozone economies, and even, to a much smaller degree, for the United States over the last few years.