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Friedman's Nobel Lecture reconsidered

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  • James Forder

Abstract

In his Nobel lecture, Friedman built on his earlier argument for a 'natural rate of unemployment' by painting a picture of an economics profession which, as a result of foolish mistakes, had accepted the Phillips curve as offering a lasting trade-off between inflation and unemployment and were thereby led to advocate a policy of inflation.� It is argued here that in fact the orthodox economists of the time did not accept Phillips' analysis; almost no one made the mistakes in question; and very few advocated inflation on bases vulnerable to Friedman's theoretical critique.� The Phillips curve was put to various uses, but advocating inflation was hardly amongst them.� It is suggested that one lasting result of the uncritical acceptance of Friedman's history is to limit what appears to be within the reasonable range of views about macroeconomic policy.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 398.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:398

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Keywords: Phillips Curve; Inflation; Friedman;

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