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The Federal Reserve (almost) 100

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  • Meltzer, Allan H.

Abstract

As the Federal Reserve reaches its hundredth anniversary, understanding its achievements and failures serves as a useful guide to needed reforms. My paper is an invited comment on the analysis by Selgin, White, and Lastrapes who conclude that the Federal Reserve’s performance is not an improvement on pre-Federal Reserve policy. I draw a slightly different conclusion. The only periods in which the Federal Reserve achieved relatively steady growth and low inflation are the two periods in which if acted as if guided by a rule. The years are 1923–1928 under a modified gold standard and 1985–2003 when it acted as if it followed a Taylor rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Meltzer, Allan H., 2012. "The Federal Reserve (almost) 100," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 626-630.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:626-630
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2012.02.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter J. Boettke & Daniel J. Smith, 2016. "Evolving views on monetary policy in the thought of Hayek, Friedman, and Buchanan," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 351-370, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federal Reserve; Monetary policy; Recessions; Inflations; Financial regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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