IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The incredible Volcker disinflation

  • Goodfriend, Marvin
  • King, Robert G.

The reduction in inflation that occurred in the early 1980s, when the Federal Reserve was headed by Paul Volcker, is arguably the most widely discussed and visible macroeconomic event of the last 50 years of U.S. history. Inflation had been dramatically rising, but under Volcker, the Fed first contained and then reversed this process. Using a simple modern macroeconomic model, we argue that the real effects of the Volcker disinflation were mainly due to its imperfect credibility. In our view, the observed upward volatility and subsequent stubborn elevation of long-term interest rates during the disinflation are key indicators of its imperfect credibility. Studying transcripts of the Federal Open Market Committee recently released to the public, we find — to our surprise — that Volcker and other FOMC members likewise regarded the long-term interest rates as indicative of inflation expectations and of the credibility of their disinflationary policy. Drawing from the transcripts and other contemporary sources, we consider the interplay of monetary targets, operating procedures, and credibility during the Volcker disinflation.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBW-4H0B0BP-4/2/55c57e733a794cc2893b6588a97dd9fc
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 52 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 981-1015

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:52:y:2005:i:5:p:981-1015
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Henry C. Wallich, 1983. "Changes in Monetary Policy and the Fight Against Inflation," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 147-154, Spring.
  2. Parkin, Michael, 1978. "A Comparison of Alternative Techniques of Monetary Control under Rational Expectations," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 46(3), pages 252-87, September.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1.
  4. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1993. "Federal Reserve Policy: Cause and Effect," NBER Working Papers 4342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Laurence Ball, 1990. "Credible Disinflation with Staggered Price Setting," NBER Working Papers 3555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christina D. Romer and David H. Romer., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Economics Working Papers 89-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Laurence Ball, 1992. "Disinflation With Imperfect Credibility," NBER Working Papers 3983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  10. Okun, Arthur M, 1978. "Efficient Disinflationary Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 348-52, May.
  11. McCallum, Bennett T., 1981. "Price level determinacy with an interest rate policy rule and rational expectations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 319-329.
  12. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  14. Baxter, Marianne, 1985. "The role of expectations in stabilization policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 343-362, May.
  15. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  16. Robert L. Hetzel, 1998. "Arthur Burns and inflation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 21-44.
  17. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
  18. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1994. "Monetary policy matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 75-88, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:52:y:2005:i:5:p:981-1015. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.