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

  • Ben S. Bernanke

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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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 3-16

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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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  11. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
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