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A pioneer of a new monetary policy? Sweden's price-level targeting of the 1930s revisited

  • STRAUMANN, TOBIAS
  • WOITEK, ULRICH

The article re-examines Sweden's price-level targeting during the 1930s which is regarded as a precursor of today's inflation targeting. According to conventional wisdom, the Riksbank was the first central bank to adopt price-level targeting, although in practice giving priority to exchange-rate stabilisation. Based on Bayesian econometric techniques and the evaluation of new archival sources, we come to the conclusion that defending a fixed exchange rate is hard to reconcile with the claim of adopting price-level targeting. This finding has implications for the prevailing view of the 1930s as a decade of great policy innovations.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 13 (2009)
Issue (Month): 02 (August)
Pages: 251-282

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:13:y:2009:i:02:p:251-282_00
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  1. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
  2. Berg, Claes & Jonung, Lars, 1998. "Pioneering Price Level Targeting:The Swedish Experience 1931-1937," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 290, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 1994. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 371-89, October.
  4. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  5. Jonung, Lars, 1979. "Knut wicksell's norm of price stabilization and Swedish monetary policy in the 1930's," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 459-496, October.
  6. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
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