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Meltzer's History of the Federal Reserve

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  • David Laidler

Abstract

This review argues that Allan Meltzer's account of the Federal Reserve between 1913 and 1951 complements Friedman and Schwartz's in their Monetary History. Meltzer emphasizes policy making within the system, rather than the evolution of the money supply and its effects on the economy. He stresses the uncertainty of the Fed's independence before the 1951 Accord, and the effects of economic ideas, notably the real bills and Riefler-Burgess doctrines, on policy. Many virtues in the book are noted, and one weakness, namely a failure to explain why inadequate ideas became dominant within the Fed when sounder alternatives were available in contemporary monetary thought.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/002205103771800031
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1256-1271

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:1256-1271

Note: DOI: 10.1257/002205103771800031
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  1. Ronnie Phillips, 1992. "The 'Chicago Plan' and New Deal Banking Reform," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_76, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  2. Barry Eichengreen & Peter Temin, 1997. "The Gold Standard and the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 6060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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