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Why does the value of money increase due to deflation?

Relevant Topics

This question pertains to topics in Macroeconomics, such as Deflation and Purchasing Power


Deflation: This is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit. It can also occur when demand for goods and services decreases.

Purchasing Power: This is the amount of goods or services that one unit of a given currency can buy. An increase in the value of money essentially means an increase in its purchasing power.

Detailed Explanation:

When deflation occurs, the price of goods and services decreases. This means that each unit of currency can now buy more goods and services than before - effectively, the value of the money has increased. This is because the purchasing power of money is inversely related to the price level in an economy. Therefore, when the price level falls (i.e., deflation), the purchasing power of money rises.

However, while this might seem like a good thing on the surface (your money can buy more), deflation can have negative effects on an economy. It can lead to decreased spending, as consumers anticipate prices will fall further and decide to delay their purchases. Additionally, deflation increases the real value of debt, which can be a burden for borrowers.


Japan's "Lost Decade": In the 1990s and early 2000s, Japan experienced a prolonged period of deflation. This led to stagnant economic growth and made it very difficult for the government and the central bank to stimulate the economy. The deflation increased the value of the Japanese yen, but it also led to decreased spending and increased the real burden of debt.

The Great Depression
: During the Great Depression of the 1930s, many countries including the US experienced significant deflation. The value of money increased but the economic activity contracted severely as consumers delayed purchases and investments and debt burdens increased.


Deflation increases the value of money because it reduces the general price level of goods and services in an economy. This increases the purchasing power of each unit of currency, meaning it can buy more than it could before the deflation. However, despite the increase in the value of money, deflation can have negative impacts on an economy, such as decreased spending and an increased real burden of debt. This was observed during Japan's "Lost Decade" and the Great Depression.

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