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A Century of US Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability

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  • Ben S. Bernanke

Abstract

Several key episodes in the 100-year history of the Federal Reserve have been referred to in various contexts with the adjective "Great" attached to them: the Great Experiment of the Federal Reserve's founding, the Great Depression, the Great Inflation and subsequent disinflation, the Great Moderation, and the recent Great Recession. Here, I'll use this sequence of "Great" episodes to discuss the evolution over the past 100 years of three key aspects of Federal Reserve policymaking: the goals of policy, the policy framework, and accountability and communication. The changes over time in these three areas provide a useful perspective, I believe, on how the role and functioning of the Federal Reserve have changed since its founding in 1913, as well as some lessons for the present and for the future.

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  • Ben S. Bernanke, 2013. "A Century of US Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 3-16, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:27:y:2013:i:4:p:3-16
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.27.4.3
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.27.4.3
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    8. Levieuge, G. & Lucotte, Y. & Pradines-Jobet, F., 2019. "Central banks’ preferences and banking sector vulnerability," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 110-131.
    9. C. A. Tapia Cortez & J. Coulton & C. Sammut & S. Saydam, 2018. "Determining the chaotic behaviour of copper prices in the long-term using annual price data," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(1), pages 1-13, December.
    10. Paola D'Orazio & Lilit Popoyan, 2020. "Taking up the climate change challenge: a new perspective on central banking," LEM Papers Series 2020/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Dumitriu, Ramona & Stefanescu, Razvan, 2014. "Perspective ale ţintirii inflaţiei [Perspectives of the Inflation Targeting]," MPRA Paper 52943, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Jan 2014.
    12. Cukierman, Alex, 2019. "A retrospective on the subprime crisis and its aftermath ten years after Lehman’s collapse," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 43(3).
    13. Yao Axel Ehouman, 2020. "Do oil-market shocks drive global liquidity?," EconomiX Working Papers 2020-33, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    14. Bredin, Don & Fountas, Stilianos, 2018. "US inflation and inflation uncertainty over 200 years," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 141-159, August.
    15. Edward Nelson, 2021. "The Emergence of Forward Guidance As a Monetary Policy Tool," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-033, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    17. Jose Luis Nicolini Llosa, 2015. "Renta financiera y solvencia mundial," Ensayos de Economía 014143, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín.
    18. Binder, Carola Conces, 2016. "Estimation of historical inflation expectations," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-31.
    19. Gkillas, Konstantinos & Konstantatos, Christoforos & Floros, Christos & Tsagkanos, Athanasios, 2021. "Realized volatility spillovers between US spot and futures during ECB news: Evidence from the European sovereign debt crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    20. Tapia, Carlos & Coulton, Jeff & Saydam, Serkan, 2020. "Using entropy to assess dynamic behaviour of long-term copper price," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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