Comparative Studies in Society and History

Inflation: Economists and Economic Cultures in Brazil and Argentina

Federico Neiburg a1
a1 Social Anthropology, Museu Nacional, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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In the middle of fourteenth century in Western Europe, a turning point occurred in the modern inquiry into the nature of money. While political unification of the states made monetary standardization and centralization key issues (establishing the distinction which still exists today between authentic currency and spurious or quasi-currencies), some of the wisest minds of the period, such as Nicolas Oresme, speculated on the reasons and consequences of the rapid loss in the value of money. The Black Plague, which took lives but not goods, left an accursed legacy: inflation, fed by the excess of wealth in the hands of survivors, dedicated to a ‘sumptuous consumption.’