Wolfers weighs in on war in Ukraine and inflation

March 14, 2022

Inflation continues to dominate headlines as Americans worry about rising prices everywhere from housing to the gas pump. Justin Wolfers, professor of public policy and economics, provided some insight into the state of the economy.

"There’s no question that headline inflation is running faster than wages," Wolfers told The Brookings Institution. "It may not be very comforting for people to hear right now, that their cost of living is rising faster than their wages, but I think there’s good reason to be confident that wages are going to catch up. The question is how long will that take."

One of the things that could impact how long it takes is the war in Ukraine and the economic sanctions Russia is facing because of it.

"Either way, (the war is) going to impose tremendous suffering on the Russian people. In another way, scaling is just to say the economic shock in Russia is larger than the COVID recession," Wolfers said on Talking Feds. "And we’ve all had a pretty miserable couple of years, and the Russian people are about to go through something like that, but both bigger and deeper. And potentially with even larger long-run scarring effects."

Read and hear the items featuring Wolfers: