Welcome: I am pleased to introduce a Special Topics Section to the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise website. Venezuela, where I was President Rafael Caldera’s economic advisor 1995-96 and am currently advisor to Christian Democratic Presidential Candidate Roberto Enriquez, is the first Special Topic because it is, well, special.

―Steve H. Hanke
[email protected]


Venezuela’s economy is collapsing. This is the result of years of socialism, incompetence, and corruption, among other things. An important element that mirrors the economy’s collapse is Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar. It is not trustworthy. Venezuela’s exchange rate regime provides no discipline. It only produces instability and poverty. Currently, Venezuela is experiencing one of the the highest inflations in the world. The works and links below offer information and analyses of Venezuela’s monetary problems. Two proven solutions to Venezuela’s currency woes are proposed: a currency board or full official dollarization.

Congressional Testimony:
Hanke, Steve H. “On Venezuela’s Tragic Meltdown.” Working paper no. 78. Studies in Applied Economics, The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, Mar. 2017.

Venezuela officially becomes the 57th entry in the Hanke-Krus World Hyperinflation Table:
Hanke, Steve H. and Charles Bushnell. “On Measuring Hyperinflation: Venezuela’s Episode.” Vol. 18, No. 3. World Economics. World Economics, Sep. 2017.

Current implied annual inflation rate as of 9/29/20: 1,899%

On the definition of hyperinflation:
Following Phillip Cagan’s classic 1956 article, the standard and practice in the economics profession is to define hyperinflation as an inflation episode in which the monthly inflation rate is at least 50% per month. In addition, to enter the Hanke-Krus “World Hyperinflation Table”, which was published in the Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History (2013), the 50% monthly rate must be maintained for at least 30 consecutive days. To put this monthly rate of 50% into perspective, consider a hyperinflation episode that lasted for an entire year and that the inflation rate in each month was 50%. Then, the annual inflation rate would be determined by simply annualizing the 50% rate, yielding an annual inflation rate of 12,874.63%.

Exchange rate data:

Public opinion surveys:

On the price of oil:

Selected works on the Venezuelan economy:

Short Articles


Radio and Television Interviews

Works on a currency board approach to monetary reform:


Articles & Reports

Works on a dollarization approach to currency reform:


Articles & Reports

General works on inflation: