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International Financial Aggregation and Index Number Theory: A Chronological Half-century Empirical Overview

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  • William Barnett

    ()

  • Marcelle Chauvet

Abstract

This paper comprises a survey of a half century of research on international monetary aggregate data. We argue that since monetary assets began yielding interest, the simple sum monetary aggregates have had no foundations in economic theory and have sequentially produced one source of misunderstanding after another. The bad data produced by simple sum aggregation have contaminated research in monetary economics, have resulted in needless “paradoxes,” and have produced decades of misunderstandings in international monetary economics research and policy. While better data, based correctly on index number theory and aggregation theory, now exist, the official central bank data most commonly used have not improved in most parts of the world. While aggregation theoretic monetary aggregates exist for internal use at the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and many other central banks throughout the world, the only central banks that currently make aggregation theoretic monetary aggregates available to the public are the Bank of England and the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. No other area of economics has been so seriously damaged by data unrelated to valid index number and aggregation theory. In this paper we chronologically review the past research in this area and connect the data errors with the resulting policy and inference errors. Future research on monetary aggregation and policy can most advantageously focus on extensions to exchange rate risk and its implications for multilateral aggregation over monetary asset portfolios containing assets denominated in more than one currency. The relevant theory for multilateral aggregation with exchange rate risk has been derived by Barnett (2007) and Barnett and Wu (2005).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 20 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-37

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:20:y:2009:i:1:p:1-37

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100323

Related research

Keywords: Measurement error; Monetary aggregation; Divisia index; Aggregation; Monetary policy; Index number theory; Exchange rate risk; Multilateral aggregation; Open economy monetary economics; E40; E52; E58; C43;

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References

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  1. William Barnett, 2005. "Monetary Aggregation," Macroeconomics 0503017, EconWPA.
  2. Belongia, Michael T. & Ireland, Peter N., 2006. "The Own-Price of Money and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 429-445, March.
  3. Barnett, William A & Fisher, Douglas & Serletis, Apostolos, 1992. "Consumer Theory and the Demand for Money," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2086-2119, December.
  4. William Barnett & Unja Chae & John Keating, 2005. "The Discounted Economic Stock of Money with VAR Forecasting," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200515, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2005.
  5. Barnett, William A, 1982. "The Optimal Level of Monetary Aggregation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(4), pages 687-710, November.
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  12. William A. Barnett, 2004. "Multilateral Aggregation-Theoretic Monetary Aggregation over Heterogeneous Countries," Macroeconomics 0412009, EconWPA.
  13. Barnett, William A. & Chauvet, Marcelle & Tierney, Heather L. R., 2007. "Measurement Error in Monetary Aggregates: A Markov Switching Factor Approach," MPRA Paper 5770, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  25. Belongia, Michael T, 1996. "Measurement Matters: Recent Results from Monetary Economics Reexamined," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1065-83, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nelson, Edward, 2013. "Friedman's monetary economics in practice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 59-83.
  2. Rayton, Bruce A. & Pavlyk, Khrystyna, 2010. "On the recent divergence between measures of the money supply in the UK," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 159-162, August.
  3. Barnett, William A. & Chauvet, Marcelle, 2008. "The End of the Great Moderation: “We told you so.”," MPRA Paper 11642, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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