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

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  • STRAUMANN, TOBIAS
  • WOITEK, ULRICH

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Straumann, Tobias & Woitek, Ulrich, 2009. "A pioneer of a new monetary policy? Sweden's price-level targeting of the 1930s revisited," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 251-282, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:13:y:2009:i:02:p:251-282_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Jiri Bohm & Jan Filacek, 2012. "Price-Level Targeting–A Real Alternative to Inflation Targeting?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 62(1), pages 2-26, February.
    2. Hatcher, Michael C., 2011. "Comparing inflation and price-level targeting: A comprehensive review of the literature," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/22, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    3. Mathy, Gabriel P. & Meissner, Christopher M., 2011. "Business cycle co-movement: Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 362-372.
    4. Michael, Hatcher, 2013. "Aggregate and welfare effects of long run inflation risk under inflation and price-level targeting," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-19, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    5. Gabriel P. Mathy & Christopher M. Meissner, 2011. "Trade, Exchange Rate Regimes and Output Co-Movement: Evidence from the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 16925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shibamoto, Masahiko & Shizume, Masato, 2014. "Exchange rate adjustment, monetary policy and fiscal stimulus in Japan's escape from the Great Depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-18.

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