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The early history of the Phillips curve

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  • Thomas M. Humphrey
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    Abstract

    The Phillips Curve depicts a relationship between inflation and unemployment in graphical or equation form. In a previous article (see the March /April issue of this Review), Thomas Humphrey catalogued the various formulations of the relationship that have appeared since the publication in 1958 of A. W. Phillips’ famous article on the subject. In the present article, Humphrey turns to the history of monetary doctrines seeking precursors of the modern formulations in the writings of Phillips’ forerunners. Humphrey finds an early representation of a Phillips Curve relationship in the writings of David Hume. Other pioneers in the curve’s pre-history include Irving Fisher, who first attempted to verify the relationship statistically, Jan Tinbergen, who estimated the first econometric Phillips Curve equation, and Paul Sultan, who first represented the relationship as a graph. Also considered are the contributions of Henry Thornton, John Stuart Mill, Lawrence Klein, A. J. Brown and others. Despite the work of these men, the Phillips Curve did not gain wide acceptance until the 1960s. Humphrey suggests several reasons for its belated popularity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (1985)
    Issue (Month): Sep ()
    Pages: 17-24

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrer:y:1985:i:sep:p:17-24:n:v.71no.5

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    Keywords: Phillips curve;

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    1. Donner, Arthur & McCollum, James F, 1972. "The Phillips Curve: An Historical Note," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 39(155), pages 323-24, August.
    2. Amid-Hozour, E & Dick, D T & Lucier, Richard L, 1971. "Sultan Schedule and Phillips Curve: An Historical Note," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(151), pages 319-20, August.
    3. Bacon, Robert, 1973. "The Phillips Curve: Another Forerunner," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 314-15, August.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The unconfessed goal of Italian labour market reform
      by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2012-04-12 12:03:00
    2. Lo scopo inconfessato della riforma del mercato del lavoro
      by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2012-04-12 12:24:00
    3. LO SCOPO INCOFESSATO DELLA RIFORMA DEL LAVORO
      by free-italia in Free Italia on 2012-04-13 10:30:00
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    Cited by:
    1. Nelson, Edward, 2007. "The Great Inflation and Early Disinflation in Japan and Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 6156, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Emilie Jašová & Božena Kaderábková, 2012. "Comparing NAIRU and Economic Cycle from the Perspective of Labour Market in the Countries of the Visegrad Group," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 4, pages 3-23.
    3. José Francisco Bellod Redondo, 2013. "La NAIRU y la pseudociencia neoliberal," Revista de Economía Crítica, Asociación de Economía Crítica, vol. 16, pages 18-43.
    4. J. Aschheim & G.S. Tavlas, 1994. "Nominal anchors for monetary policy: a doctrinal analysis," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 47(191), pages 469-494.

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