Earlier today I wrote that macro history raises serious questions about returning the monetary system to a gold standard, a goal that some pundits (and a few Republican candidates for president) advocate. Looking to gold as a cure for economic volatility rests partly on the assumption that the metal is a reliable inflation hedge through time. But as it turns out, gold’s inflation-hedging attributes may not be as durable as conventional wisdom claims. As The Free Exchange at Economist.com notes, there’s a “gold puzzle” in them ‘thar hills.
Because of gold’s finite supply and long history as a medium of exchange, Free Exchange reminds, “it’s often cited as a good inflation hedge.” Not necessarily: