Price controls: do they work?

Michael Roberts Blog

“We have a powerful weapon to fight inflation: price controls. It’s time we consider it.”  So said Isabelle Weber, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of How China Escaped Shock Therapy, writing in the UK Guardian newspaper.  Weber’s piece was just 800 words long, but it provoked a squall of debate between radical post-Keynesian economists and more orthodox Keynesians over the effectiveness of price controls to control rising inflation of prices in general and to deal with the current inflation spike in the major economies.

Weber is author of the highly acclaimed book on the zigs and zags in the economic policy of the Communist leaders in China during the period of the country’s unprecedented economic rise.  My review of her book can be found here.  Weber comes from one of the more radical departments of economics in…

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