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Monetary policy neglect and the Great Inflation in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

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  • Edward Nelson

Abstract

This paper studies the Great Inflation in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Newspaper coverage and policymakers' statements are used to analyze the views on the inflation process that led to the 1970s macroeconomic policies, and the different movement in each country away from 1970s views. I argue that to understand the course of policy in each country, it is crucial to use the monetary policy neglect hypothesis, which claims that the Great Inflation occurred because policymakers delegated inflation control to nonmonetary devices. This hypothesis helps explain why, unlike Canada, Australia and New Zealand continued to suffer high inflation in the mid-1980s. The delayed disinflation in these countries reflected the continuing importance accorded to nonmonetary views of inflation.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2004-008.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Publication status: Published in International Journal of Central Banking, June 2005, 1(1), pp. 133-79
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2004-008

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Inflation (Finance);

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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
  2. David Gruen & Adrian Pagan & Christopher Thompson, 1999. "The Phillips Curve in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp1999-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  3. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: Lessons from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 6126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Nelson Edward, 2005. "The Great Inflation of the Seventies: What Really Happened?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-50, July.
  5. Guy Debelle, 1996. "The Ends of Three Small Inflations: Australia, New Zealand and Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(1), pages 56-78, March.
  6. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2002. "The evolution of economic understanding and postwar stabilization policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-78.
  7. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon Van_Norden, 2000. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0768, Econometric Society.
  8. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  9. Amit Kara & Edward Nelson, 2004. "International Evidence on the Stability of the Optimizing IS Equation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(s1), pages 687-712, 09.
  10. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  11. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," Working Paper 0004, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Wirjanto, T.S. & Amano, R.A., 1993. "Money Stock Targetting and Money Supply: A Closer Examination of the Data," Working Papers 9318, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  13. David Gruen & Tim Robinson & Andrew Stone, 2002. "Output Gaps in Real Time: Are They Reliable Enough to Use for Monetary Policy?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2002-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  14. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 415, Boston College Department of Economics.
  15. David Gruen & Geoffrey Shuetrim, 1994. "Internationalisation and the Macroeconomy," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Philip Lowe & Jacqueline Dwyer (ed.), International Intergration of the Australian Economy Reserve Bank of Australia.
  16. repec:fth:bfdipa:18/2001 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Orden, David & Fisher, Lance A, 1993. "Financial Deregulation and the Dynamics of Money, Prices, and Output in New Zealand and Australia," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 273-92, May.
  18. Laidler, David, 1989. "Dow and Saville's Critique of Monetary Policy--A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1147-59, September.
  19. Huang, Angela & Margaritis, Dimitri & Mayes, David, 2001. "Monetary policy rules in practice: Evidence from New Zealand," Research Discussion Papers 18/2001, Bank of Finland.
  20. P. D. Jonson, 1973. "Our Current Inflationary Experience," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 6(2), pages 21-26.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2004. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," International Finance Discussion Papers 804, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Nelson, Edward, 2008. "Ireland and Switzerland: The jagged edges of the Great Inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 700-732, May.
  3. Dees, S. & Holly, S. & Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, L.V., 2007. "Long Run Macroeconomic Relations in the Global Economy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0661, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Kitov, Ivan, 2007. "Exact prediction of inflation and unemployment in Canada," MPRA Paper 5015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Christopher J. Neely & David E. Rapach, 2008. "Is inflation an international phenomenon?," Working Papers 2008-025, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Daniel L. Thornton, 2007. "The lower and upper bounds of the Federal Open Market Committee's long-run inflation objective," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 183-194.
  7. Jan Libich, 2006. "Inflexibility Of Inflation Targeting Revisited: Modeling The "Anchoring"Effect," CAMA Working Papers 2006-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  8. Neely, Christopher J. & Rapach, David E., 2011. "International comovements in inflation rates and country characteristics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1471-1490.
  9. Christina D. Romer, 2005. "Commentary on "Origins of the Great Inflation"," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 177-186.

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