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Hosted by David Beckworth of the Mercatus Center, Macro Musings is a podcast which pulls back the curtain on the important macroeconomic issues of the past, present, and future.

Jun 3, 2024

Ryan Bourne is the R. Evan Scharf Chair for Public Understanding of Economic at the Cato Institute, and he is also the editor and contributor to a new book titled, *The War on Prices: How Popular Misconceptions about Inflation, Prices, and Value Create Bad Policy.* Ryan joins Macro Musings to talk about this new book, and specifically, the history and functionality of rent and price controls, the basics of dynamic pricing, the root causes of inflation, and a lot more.


Transcript for this week’s episode.


Ryan’s Twitter: @MrRBourne

Ryan’s Cato profile


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Related Links:


*The War on Prices: How Popular Misconceptions about Inflation, Prices, and Value Created Bad Policy* by Ryan Bourne et al.


*I, Pencil* by Leonard Read


*Forty Centuries of Wage and Prices Controls: How Not to Fight Inflation* by Robert Schuettinger and Eamonn Butler


*Shock Values: Prices and Inflation in American Democracy* by Carola Binder




(00:00:00) – Intro


(00:01:05) – The Background Motivation for “The War on Prices*


(00:06:32) – The Definition and Importance of Prices


(00:12:41) – The Parable of “I, Pencil”


(00:18:39) – Rationing on Quality or Quantity: Rent Control


(00:26:39) – The World War II Experience with Price Controls


(00:32:58) – Price and Wage Controls During the Nixon Administration


(00:35:48) – The Effects of a Minimum Wage


(00:38:38) – The Basics of Dynamic Pricing


(00:44:03) – Defining Inflation and Establishing its Sources


(00:56:08) – Was the Recent Inflation Surge Actually Optimal?


(00:59:51) – Outro