Container ships near the port of Los Angeles, September 2021
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Coming on the heels of the pandemic-induced economic slowdown, the inflation crisis of the past two years seemed to catch much of the world by surprise. After three decades in which prices grew slowly across the world’s advanced economies, suddenly the United Kingdom, the United States, and the eurozone were contending with near or above double-digit inflation. Prices across many emerging markets and developing economies have risen even faster, for example, with inflation exceeding 80 percent in Turkey and nearing 100 percent in Argentina.

True, the worldwide inflation of the 2020s does not yet rival the worst inflation crises of past

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