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Not Just the Great Contraction: Friedman and Schwartz’s A Monetary History of the United States 1867 to 1960

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Hugh Rockoff

Abstract

A Monetary History of the United States 1867 to 1960 published in 1963 was written as part of an extensive NBER research project on Money and Business Cycles started in the 1950s. The project resulted in three more books and many important articles. A Monetary History was designed to provide historical evidence for the modern quantity theory of money. The principal lessons of the modern quantity theory of the long-run neutrality of money, the transitory effects of monetary policy on real economic activity, and the importance of stable money and of monetary rules have all been absorbed in modern macro models. A Monetary History , unlike the other books, has endured the test of time and has become a classic whose reputation has grown with age. It succeeded because it was based on narrative and not an explicit model. The narrative methodology pioneered by Friedman and Schwartz and the beautifully written story still captures the imaginations of new generations of economists.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18828.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18828

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  1. Marvin Goodfriend, 2012. "The Elusive Promise of Independent Central Banking," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 30, pages 39-54, November.
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  3. Michael Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2005. "Deflation and monetary policy in a historical perspective: remembering the past or being condemned to repeat it?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 799-844, October.
  4. Miron, Jeffrey A., 1994. "Empirical methodology in macroeconomics explaining the success of Friedman and Schwartz's 'a monetary history of the United States, 1867-1960'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 17-25, August.
  5. Tobin, James, 1970. "Money and Income: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 301-17, May.
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  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1994. "Review of Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz's 'a monetary history of the United States, 1867-1960'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 5-16, August.
  10. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1987. "Has Government Any Role in Money?," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Money in Historical Perspective, pages 289-314 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bordo, Michael D & Choudhri, Ehsan U & Schwartz, Anna J, 1995. "Could Stable Money Have Averted the Great Contraction?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 484-505, July.
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  15. Michael Bordo & John Landon-Lane, 2010. "The banking panics in the United States in the 1930s: some lessons for today," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 486-509, Autumn.
  16. Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2009. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics during the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Federal Reserve District Border, 1929-1933," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1031-1073, December.
  17. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4"," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Michael Bordo & John Landon-Lane & Angela Redish, 2010. "Deflation, Productivity Shocks and Gold: Evidence from the 1880–1914 Period," Open Economies Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 515-546, September.
  19. Olivier J. Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan89-1.
  20. Philip Cagan, 1965. "Determinants and Effects of Changes in the Stock of Money, 1875-1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number caga65-1.
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