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A pioneer of a new monetary policy? Sweden's price-level targeting of the 1930s revisited

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  • STRAUMANN, TOBIAS
  • WOITEK, ULRICH

Abstract

The paper re-examines Sweden’s price level targeting during the 1930s which is regarded as a precursor of today’s inflation targeting. According to conventional wisdom the Riksbank was the first central bank to adopt price level targeting as the guideline for its activities, although in practice giving priority to exchange rate stabilisation over price level stabilisation. On the basis of econometric analysis (Bayesian VAR) and the evaluation of new archival sources we come to a more skeptical conclusion. Our results suggest that it is hard to reconcile the Riksbank’s striving for a fixed exchange rate with the claim that it adopted price level targeting. This finding has implications for the prevailing view of the 1930s as a decade of great policy innovations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 13 (2009)
Issue (Month): 02 (August)
Pages: 251-282

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:13:y:2009:i:02:p:251-282_00

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  1. Jonung, Lars, 1979. "Knut wicksell's norm of price stabilization and Swedish monetary policy in the 1930's," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 459-496, October.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  3. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 2002. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 69-87, January.
  4. Berg, Claes & Jonung, Lars, 1998. "Pioneering Price Level Targeting:The Swedish Experience 1931-1937," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 290, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2003. "Drifts and volatilities: monetary policies and outcomes in the post WWII U.S," Working Paper 2003-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Mathy, Gabriel P. & Meissner, Christopher M., 2011. "Business cycle co-movement: Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 362-372.
  2. Michael, Hatcher, 2013. "Aggregate and welfare effects of long run inflation risk under inflation and price-level targeting," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-19, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  3. Hatcher, Michael C., 2011. "Comparing inflation and price-level targeting: A comprehensive review of the literature," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/22, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  4. Jiri Bohm & Jan Filacek, 2012. "Price-Level Targeting–A Real Alternative to Inflation Targeting?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 62(1), pages 2-26, February.
  5. Gabriel P. Mathy & Christopher M. Meissner, 2011. "Trade, Exchange Rate Regimes and Output Co-Movement: Evidence from the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 16925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Masahiko Shibamoto & Masato Shizume, 2014. "Exchange Rate Adjustment, Monetary Policy and Fiscal Stimulus in Japan's Escape from the Great Depression," Discussion Paper Series DP2014-12, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

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