This lesson explores different types of inflation and terms associated with this economic concept. You may have heard relatives talk about the good old days when a dollar would buy something. What happened to that dollar? Why won’t it buy as much as it did last month or last year? What happened is inflation. In this lesson you will examine the various causes and theories of inflation as well as how it affects different groups in the economy such as savers, lender, and people living on fixed incomes.
- Identify the main theories of inflation
- Understand main terms associated with inflation
- Compare different theories of inflation
This lesson will explore types of inflation and terms associated with this economic concept. You may have heard relatives talk about the good old days when a dollar would buy something. What happened to that dollar? Why won't it buy as much as it did last month or last year? What happened is inflation. In this lesson we will examine the various causes and theories of inflation as well as who is responsible for tracking it.
You may want to use the lessons below before starting this lesson. They will provide students with proper background information on inflation and the CPI.
CPI- The Crystal Ball: This EconEdLink lesson plan allows the students to better understand what the CPI is and how the Government uses it to predict developments in the economy.
CPI - The Crystal Ball
What Does a Dollar Really Buy?: This EconEdLink lesson plan helps students to better understand price indexes and the role of inflation on the economy.
What Does a Dollar Really Buy?
Causes of Inflation Slide Show: This EconEdLink slide show introduces some of the causes of inflation on prices to students.
Causes of Inflation Slide Show
Student Study Guide #1: This is a student study guide designed to assist the students with the inflation lesson.
Study Guide #1
Student Study Guide #2: This is a student study guide designed to assist the students with the inflation lesson.
Study Guide #2
Teacher Study Guide #1: This is the answer key for Study Guide #1.
Study Guide #1 Key
Teacher Study Guide #2: This is the answer key for Study Guide #2.
Study Guide #2 Key
Inflation: This page provides an interesting article for students that discusses inflation.
What Goods and Services Does CPI Cover?: This Bureau of Labor Statistics FAQ page discusses what the CPI that they release covers.
Theory 1 - Demand-Pull Inflation - is Inflation Demanding?: This site discusses the idea of Demand-Pull Inflation.
Theory 2 - Cost-Push Inflation - is Inflation Pushy?: This site discusses the idea of Cost-Push Inflation.
Theory 3 - Quantity Theory of Money - in Theory What Quantity Would You Like?: This site discusses the idea of the Quantity Theory of Money.
Assessment Interactive: This interactive tests students' understanding of the Inflation lesson.
Online Assessment Activity
Use the Causes of Inflation Slide show presentation to introduce the various causes of inflation.
To complete Study Guide #2, the students will need to visit these Web sites:
- Part #1: What Goods and Services Does the CPI Cover?
- Part #2: Theory 1: Demand-Pull Inflation - is Inflation Demanding?
- Part #3: Theory 2: Cost-Push Inflation - Is Inflation Pushy?
- Part #4: Theory 3: Quantity Theory of Money - In Theory What Quantity Would You Like?
Inflation has remained in check for much of the past three decades. As a result, prices of goods and services have remained relatively steady. However, we must be on the lookout for factors that can lead to periods of high inflation. Prices of goods and services will rise. The rise may be caused by demand exceeding supply, or because the cost of making goods and services rises and that cost gets passed on to the consumer, or because it may be that there is too much money in the economy. Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, we can expect some inflation in our economy.
Assign the students to write an essay comparing and contrasting the causes of inflation. In their essays, the students should use the information they used to complete the process section.
Answers will vary:
Students should provide an analysis of the various types of inflation and theories behind them.
“This is an excellent lesson! I am impressed that you are using some British originating materials - for me, teaching mostly Chinese & Korean students it emphasizes the point that economics offers a world wide perspective. On content: it might be useful if there were connections to some of the strong opinions on what causes inflation. I rather enjoy reading this material and if you feel that it would not complicate matters for students I would like to see this additional content. Of course I am not sure if anyone has determined that there is a definitive cause! (other than the monetarists) One final point, the format for ESL students is excellent, you have given me additional tools in what can be a difficult teaching assignment.”
“This is a very informative article. I would be very interested in reading more about inflation.”
“I like this very much.”
“This has very good articles, but I think there is too much information. You need to condense it a little bit.”
“This website was much help to me and my students. Thanks a lot for making my class learn about inflation so precisely.”
“Great lesson - thanks!”
“This is an excellent lesson!”