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Grade 9-12
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Lesson

What causes inflation?

Updated: July 14 2015,
Author: Tim Florian

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.

Introduction

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.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the main theories of inflation.
  • Understand main terms associated with inflation.
  • Compare different theories of inflation.

Resource List

  • 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.
    www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/economics/inflation1.htm

Process

Use the Causes of Inflation Slide show presentation to introduce the various causes of inflation.

Next, provide the students with copies of Study Guide #1 and Study Guide #2.

Teacher Study Guide #1 and Teacher Study Guide #2 are also provided for your convenience.

To complete Study Guide #1, the students will need to read Inflation .Basic Economics: Inflation

To complete Study Guide #2, the students will need to visit these Web sites:

Conclusion

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.

Extension Activity

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.