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Political Pressures on Monetary Policy during the US Great Inflation

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  • Charles L. Weise

Abstract

Drawing on an analysis of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) documents, this paper argues that political pressures on the Federal Reserve were an important contributor to the rise in inflation in the United States in the 1970s. Members of the FOMC understood that a serious attempt to tackle inflation would generate opposition from Congress and the executive branch. Political considerations contributed to delays in monetary tightening, insufficiently aggressive anti-inflation policies, and the premature abandonment of attempts at disinflation. Empirical analysis verifies that references to the political environment at FOMC meetings are correlated with the stance of monetary policy during this period. (JEL D72, E32, E52, E58, N12)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 33-64

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:33-64

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.2.33
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References

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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2001. "Monetary policy rules, macroeconomic stability and inflation: a view from the trenches," Working Paper Series 0115, European Central Bank.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Charles L. Weise, 2012. "Political Pressures on Monetary Policy during the US Great Inflation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 33-64, April.
  4. Nelson, Edward, 2007. "The Great Inflation and Early Disinflation in Japan and Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 6156, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Charles L. Weise, 2008. "Private Sector Influences on Monetary Policy in the United States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 449-462, 03.
  6. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2013. "Shifts in US Federal Reserve Goals and Tactics for Monetary Policy: A Role for Penitence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 65-86, Fall.
  2. Joshua C.C. Chan & Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2014. "A Bounded Model of Time Variation in Trend Inflation, NAIRU and the Phillips Curve," CAMA Working Papers 2014-10, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  3. Charles L. Weise, 2012. "Political Pressures on Monetary Policy during the US Great Inflation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 33-64, April.

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