WCPO: Gas prices are a microcosm of a larger issue

UC economics professor says several factors drive inflation

While President Joe Biden has the ability to affect gas prices in the long term, there’s not much he can do in the short term to lower prices, University of Cincinnati economics professor Michael Jones told WCPO.

Jones, the Kautz-Uible Professor of Economics in the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, said high gas prices are one of the effects of inflation.

Michael Jones headshot.

Michael Jones, PhD, associate professor of economics at the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

“In the long run, the president and U.S. government can certainly influence what the price of oil is by making it easier to open up more areas of exploration. In the short run, there's not so much the president can do," Jones said. "Gasoline is just one of many products and services affected by inflation. That's part of the overall story. Rather than focusing on one particular issue, I think there's a lot that can be done to bring inflation down. And bringing inflation down would bring down gas prices."

There are many factors that have caused inflation, including stimulus checks and supply chain issues.

"In the immediate future, actions may not translate into changes in inflation," Jones said. "His words themselves do matter. That's why everyone is paying attention to what he's saying."

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Featured image at top courtesy of Unsplash.