This book authoritatively considers the phenomenon of the severe economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s, as exemplified by the combination of high inflation and negative growth in Israel and Latin America. The author analyses the common characteristics of such processes and their possible curesDSwith a detailed first-hand account of Israeli stabilization policy, and a comparative policy-oriented analysis of Latin American reforms. Professor Bruno also calls on his experience to give a preliminary evaluation of recent stabilizations and reform attempts in several East European economies. The discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of `shock' treatments provides a good example for the blending of a number of disciplines: lessons of economic history;
open economy monetary and macro theory; game-theoretic applications to the theory of economic policy design (concepts such as dynamic inconsistency, government reputation, and credibility); and the rationalization of incomes policy. The Clarendon Lectures in Economics were established in 1987. They consist of coherent sets of three or four lectures given by distinguished economists which are accessible to advanced undergraduates and also of interest to academics. Subjects vary from high theory and applications of theory to policy-oriented topics. Lecturers include Professors J.-M. Grandmont, David Kreps, Kenneth Arrow, Angus Deaton, Robert Schiller, and Oliver Hart.
and graduate students of macroeconomics; business economists and commentators interested in recent inflationary experience and comparative economics (specifically Israel, Eastern Europe, and Latin American countries).
Michael Bruno, late Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist, World Bank
"`Professor Michael Bruno ... is one of those few academics who speak with real authority about the real world, and can draw on practical experience when giving policy advice ... Drawing heavily on his first-hand experience as governor of the Bank of Israel between 1986 and 1991, but not skimping on the economic analysis, Mr Bruno provides a powerful and comprehensive analysis of why some countries get into hyperinflationary difficulties.'
"`a most useful general introduction to the problems examined in subsequent chapters ... This is a lucid and useful book, informed by shrewd political judgement and welcome awareness of the real importance of individual freedom. Its judicious and reasonable tone, with careful use of evidence from a wide range of settings, contrasts notably with the other volume reviewed here.'