Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Political constraints on monetary policy during the Great Inflation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Weise, Charles L

Abstract

The U.S. Great Inflation of the 1970s was characterized by repeated, failed attempts at disinflation by the Federal Reserve as well as periods of inaction despite rising inflation. Previous research has attributed these failures to policymakers’ “misperceptions” about monetary policy and the macroeconomy. This paper argues instead that the Fed’s behavior during this period can be explained as a response to political constraints. Members of the Fed understood that a serious attempt to tackle inflation would be unpopular with the public and would generate opposition from Congress and the Executive branch. The result was a commitment to the policy of gradualism, under which the Fed would attempt to reduce inflation with mild policies that would not trigger an outright recession, and premature abandonment of anti-inflation policies at the first sign of recession. The Fed managed to disinflate successfully under Chairman Volcker only when the political constraints on Fed policy were lifted after 1979, allowing the Fed to abandon the policy of gradualism and knowingly take actions that risked recession. Evidence for this explanation of Fed behavior is found in Minutes and Transcripts of FOMC meetings and speeches of Fed chairmen.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8694/
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8694.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8694

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Great Inflation; monetary policy; Federal Reserve;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  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. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary-Policy Rules and the Great Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 115-120, May.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  4. Allan H. Meltzer, 2005. "Origins of the Great Inflation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 145-176.
  5. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2002. "The Evolution of Economic Understanding and Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 9274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Andrew Levin & John B. Taylor, 2010. "Falling Behind the Curve: A Positive Analysis of Stop-Start Monetary Policies and the Great Inflation," NBER Working Papers 15630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Di Maggio, Marco, 2010. "The Political Economy of the Yield Curve," MPRA Paper 20697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Pittaluga, Giovanni Battista & Seghezza, Elena, 2012. "The Great Inflation in Italy: A Political Economy View - La Grande Inflazione in Italia: un’interpretazione alla luce della political economy," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio di Genova, vol. 65(1), pages 65-81.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8694. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.