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Controlling the Price Level

  • Hall Robert


    (Stanford University)

Governments determine the size of the unit of value just as they determine the length of the length and weight of physical units of measure. What are the different ways that a government can control the size of the unit of value, that is, control the price level? In general, the government designates a resource—gold, paper currency, another country’s currency—and defines its unit of value as a particular amount of that resource. An interesting variant—proposed by Irving Fisher in 1913 and implemented more recently in Chile—is to alter the resource content of the unit to stabilize the price level. Another idea is to alter the interest rate paid on reserves in a way that stabilizes the price level.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:contributions.2:y:2002:i:1:n:5
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  1. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  2. Don Patinkin, 1993. "Irving Fisher and his compensated dollar plan," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 1-34.
  3. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  4. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  5. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  6. James Tobin, 1998. "Monetary Policy: Recent Theory and Practice," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1187, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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