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Monetary Policy and Value Judgments : Did we forget Myrdal’s legacy ?

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  • Nicolas Barbaroux

    ()
    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, F-42000, France)

  • Michel Bellet

    ()
    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, F-42000, France)

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    Abstract

    Myrdal’s works are usually analysed with a dual and separated point of view : on the one hand the methodological papers concerning the value problem and based on a strong non neutrality thesis ; on the other part the theoretical analysis concerning monetary theory and policy, with a Wicksellian filiation. In fact both the dimensions are strongly connected by a common way : the application of the Hägerström’s Swedish guillotine between is and ought, but also the construction of a bridge between economic science and political views on social engineering and economic policy. Myrdal wants to address this problem : how economic science can become politically relevant ? This paper analyses two stages of that unique project : the proposition of a "technology of economics" (1930), and the selection process for a "norm for monetary policy" (1939). It shows that Myrdal distorts an initial end and means scheme by proposing some intermediary concepts between positive and normative fields. From a theoretical and statistical framework and an explicit value judgment these concepts enable to elaborate an iterative tree of selection of a speci-c monetary policy. If the Myrdal’s project encounters difficulties in conciliating a non-cognitivist thesis with economic prescriptions and in proposing a tractable method, it remains an important benchmark for the analysis of the links between positive and normative views concerning monetary policy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1408.

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    Date of creation: 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1408

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    Keywords: value judgment; monetary policy; positive analysis; normative analysis;

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    References

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    1. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Judgment: Forecast Targeting," NBER Working Papers 11167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hans-Michael Trautwein, 2011. "From Austrian Economics To The Swedish Welfare State: Wicksellian Views On Money And Income Distribution," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 61, pages 51-90.
    3. Laidler,David, 1999. "Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521645966.
    4. Antoinette Baujard, 2013. "Value judgments and economics expertise," Working Papers halshs-00803552, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. Pier Francesco Asso & George A. Kahn & Robert Leeson, 2007. "The Taylor rule and the transformation of monetary policy," Research Working Paper RWP 07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    7. Lars Pålsson Syll, 1998. "Myrdal's Immanent Critique of Utility Theory," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 413-426, Fall.
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