IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jmacro/v54y2017ipap24-41.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Rules versus discretion in monetary policy historically contemplated

Author

Listed:
  • Glasner, David

Abstract

Monetary policy rules are attempts to cope with the implications of having a medium of exchange whose value exceeds its cost of production. Two classes of monetary rules can be identified: (1) price rules that target the value of money in terms of a real commodity, e.g., gold, or in terms of some index of prices, and (2) quantity rules that target the quantity of money in circulation. Historically, price rules, e.g. the gold standard, have predominated, but the Bank Charter Act of 1844 imposed a quantity rule as an adjunct to the gold standard, because the gold standard had performed unsatisfactorily after being restored in Britain at the close of the Napoleonic Wars. A quantity rule was not proposed independently of a price rule until Henry Simons proposed a constant money supply consisting of government-issued fiat currency and deposits issued by banks operating on a 100% reserve basis. Simons argued that such a plan would be ideal if it could be implemented because it would deprive the monetary authority of any discretionary decision-making power. Nevertheless, Simons concluded that such a plan was impractical and supported a price rule to stabilize the price level. Simons's student Milton Friedman revived Simons's argument against discretion and modified Simons's plan for 100% reserve banking and a constant money supply into his k% rule for monetary growth. This paper examines the doctrinal and ideological origins and background that lay behind the rules versus discretion distinction.

Suggested Citation

  • Glasner, David, 2017. "Rules versus discretion in monetary policy historically contemplated," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PA), pages 24-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:54:y:2017:i:pa:p:24-41
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2017.05.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0164070416301641
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jmacro.2017.05.004?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
    2. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
    3. Bennett T. McCallum, 1987. "The case for rules in the conduct of monetary policy: a concrete example," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 73(Sep), pages 10-18.
    4. Laidler, David, 2017. "Economic ideas, the monetary order and the uneasy case for policy rules," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PA), pages 12-23.
    5. Laidler, David E, 1988. "British Monetary Orthodoxy in the 1870s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 74-109, March.
    6. Milton Friedman, 1951. "Commodity-Reserve Currency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 203-203.
    7. David Glasner, 1992. "The Real-Bills Doctrine in the Light of the Law of Reflux," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 867-894, Winter.
    8. Henry C. Simons, 1936. "Rules versus Authorities in Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44, pages 1-1.
    9. David Glasner, 1989. "On Some Classical Monetary Controversies," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 201-229, Summer.
    10. Sandeep Mazumder & John H. Wood, 2013. "The Great Deflation of 1929–33: it (almost) had to happen," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 156-177, February.
    11. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, December.
    12. Ronnie Phillips, 1992. "The 'Chicago Plan' and New Deal Banking Reform," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_76, Levy Economics Institute.
    13. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Cleaning Up After Burns’s Mess
      by David Glasner in Uneasy Money on 2019-05-09 04:24:44

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tavlas, George S., 2021. "A Reconsideration Of The Doctrinal Foundations Of Monetary Policy Rules: Fisher Versus Chicago," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(1), pages 55-82, March.
    2. Samuel Demeulemeester, 2018. "The 100% money proposal and its implications for banking: the Currie–Fisher approach versus the Chicago Plan approach," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 357-387, March.
    3. James Forder & Hugo Monnery, 2019. "Why Did Milton Friedman Win the Nobel Prize? A Consideration of His Early Work on Stabilization Policy," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 16(1), pages 130–145-1, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Singleton,John, 2010. "Central Banking in the Twentieth Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899093, October.
    2. Josh Ryan-Collins, 2015. "Is Monetary Financing Inflationary? A Case Study of the Canadian Economy, 1935-75," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_848, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. George S. Tavlas, 2015. "In Old Chicago: Simons, Friedman, and the Development of Monetary‐Policy Rules," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 99-121, February.
    4. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2013. "Fiscal Multipliers and Policy Coordination," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jordi Galí (ed.),Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance, edition 1, volume 17, chapter 6, pages 175-234, Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Gustavo Bussinger, 2004. "El canal de crédito como mecanismo de transmisión de la política monetaria en Brasil," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA, vol. 0(3), pages 243-262, julio-sep.
    6. Mehrotra, Aaron & Sánchez-Fung, José R., 2011. "Assessing McCallum and Taylor rules in a cross-section of emerging market economies," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 207-228, April.
    7. Lecarpentier-Moyal, Sylvie & Payelle, Nathalie, 2001. "Règle monétaire et cible de prévisions d’inflation," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 77(4), pages 531-568, décembre.
    8. Bilal Bagis, 2017. "Central Banking in the New Era," Eurasian Journal of Economics and Finance, Eurasian Publications, vol. 5(4), pages 197-225.
    9. David Beckworth & Joshua R. Hendrickson, 2020. "Nominal GDP Targeting and the Taylor Rule on an Even Playing Field," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(1), pages 269-286, February.
    10. Jan Toporowski, 2013. "The Elgar Companion to Hyman Minsky," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 175-177, January.
    11. Racette, Daniel & Raynauld, Jacques & Lauzon, Simon, 1992. "La règle monétaire de McCallum revue à la lumière de la méthodologie de Litterman," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 68(1), pages 262-282, mars et j.
    12. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2012. "Was the New Deal Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 524-555, February.
    13. Scott Sumner, 2016. "Nudging the Fed Toward a Rules-Based Policy Regime," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(2), pages 315-335, Spring/Su.
    14. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
    15. Sylvie Rivot, 2015. "Rule-based frameworks in historical perspective: Keynes' and Friedman's monetary policies versus contemporary policy-rules," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 601-633, August.
    16. Sumner, Scott, 2017. "Monetary policy rules in light of the great recession," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PA), pages 90-99.
    17. C.A. Ullersma, 2001. "The Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates and Monetary Policy Effectiveness: a Survey," MEB Series (discontinued) 2001-9, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
    18. Mauricio Mayorga Martínez & Evelyn Muñoz Salas, 2004. "¿Existe disciplina de mercado en el sistema bancario costarricense?," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA, vol. 0(3), pages 263-289, julio-sep.
    19. Timonen, Jouni, 1995. "Nominal income as an intermediate target for monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 21/1995, Bank of Finland.
    20. José R. Sánchez Fung, 2004. "Reglas monetarias, metas de inflación y sus aplicaciones potenciales de la República Dominicana," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA, vol. 0(3), pages 291-323, julio-sep.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:54:y:2017:i:pa:p:24-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.