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Deflation and Monetary Policy in a Historical Perspective: Remembering the Past or Being Condemned to Repeat It?

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Andrew Filardo

Abstract

What does the historical record tell us about how to conduct monetary policy in a deflationary environment? We present a broad cross-country historical study of deflation over the past two centuries in order to shed light on current policy challenges. We first review the theoretical literature on deflation. We then characterize deflation by distinguishing among the "good, the bad and the ugly" ones - considering both empirical determinants and historical narratives of each type. Emphasis is put on the linkages between the current inflation environment and that of the gold standard period. Particular attention is also put on what the historical record reveals about policies to escape undesirable deflation. In this regard we develop a policy typology based on the relative merits of interest rate and monetary instruments in combating different types of inflation/deflation behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10833.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Publication status: published as Bordo, Michael and Andrew Filardo. "Deflation And Monetary Policy In A Historical Perspective: Remembering The Past Or Being Condemned To Repeat It?," Economic Policy, 2005, v20(44,Oct), 799-844.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10833

Note: DAE ME
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References

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  1. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "How should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 195-259.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke, 1994. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," NBER Working Papers 4814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kenneth J. McLaughlin, 1999. "Are nominal wage changes skewed away from wage cuts?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 117-132.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Ehsan U. Choudhri & Anna J. Schwartz, 1999. "Was Expansionary Monetary Policy Feasible During the Great Contraction? An Examination of the Gold Standard Constraint," NBER Working Papers 7125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Dieter Gerdesmeier & Hans‐Eggert Reimers & Barbara Roffia, 2010. "Asset Price Misalignments and the Role of Money and Credit," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 377-407, Winter.
  2. Rockoff, Hugh & White, Eugene N., 2012. "Monetary Regimes and Policy on a Global Scale: The Oeuvre of Michael D. Bordo," MPRA Paper 49672, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2013.
  3. Michael D. Bordo, 2009. "A Historical Perspective on the Crisis of 2007–08," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 548, Central Bank of Chile.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Hugh Rockoff, 2013. "Not Just the Great Contraction: Friedman and Schwartz's A Monetary History of the United States 1867 to 1960," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 61-65, May.
  5. Claudio Morana, 2005. "The Japanese deflation: has it had real effects? Could it have been avoided?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1337-1352.
  6. Paul Levine & Joseph Pearlman & Bo Yang, 2008. "The Credibility Problem Revisited: Thirty Years on from Kydland and Prescott," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 728-746, 09.
  7. Michael D. Bordo, 2008. "An Historical Perspective on the Crisis of 2007-2008," NBER Working Papers 14569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Assenmacher-Wesche, Katrin & Gerlach, Stefan & Sekine, Toshitaka, 2008. "Monetary Factors and Inflation in Japan," CEPR Discussion Papers 6650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Ulrich van Suntum & Metin Kaptan & Cordelius Ilgmann, . "Reducing the lower bound on market interest rates," Working Papers 200103, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
  10. Goetz von Peter, 2005. "Debt-deflation: concepts and a stylised model," BIS Working Papers 176, Bank for International Settlements.
  11. Dieter Gerdesmeier & Hans-Eggert Reimers & Barbara Roffia, 2011. "Early Warning Indicators for Asset Price Booms," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 1-19, June.
  12. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
  13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Benjamin Pugsley, 2006. "The Mistake of 1937: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 24(S1), pages 151-190, December.
  14. Goetz von Peter, 2005. "Debt-Deflation: Concepts, and a Stylised Model," Macroeconomics 0505001, EconWPA.
  15. Beckworth, David, 2007. "The postbellum deflation and its lessons for today," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 195-214, August.

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