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IS-LM and Monetarism

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Anna J. Schwartz

This paper discusses monetarist objections to the IS-LM model. We explore the views of two principal spokesmen for monetarism: Milton Friedman and the team of Karl Brunner and Allan Meltzer. Friedman did not explicitly state the reasons he generally chose not to use the IS-LM model in rejecting Keynesian views on the demand function for money, the role of autonomous expenditures in cyclical fluctuations, the potency of fiscal policy as against monetary policy, etc. He presented statistical findings, historical evidence, and econometric results to support his alternative analysis of macroeconomics, but his critics were unconvinced. In 1970, in an effort to use his critics' common language, he set up a model with explicit terms for IS-LM to encompass both the quantity theory and the income-expenditure theory. Friedman attributed the failure of this effort to the fact that he was a Marshallian, his opponents Walrasians. Brunner and Meltzer's objections to IS-LM were explicit. They found it too spare, so they elaborated it by adding a credit market, disaggregating the asset market by specifying three assets: base money, government debt, and real capital. They set up a model with financial institutions and utilized it to study the effects of a variety of policies. In brief, summarizing the views of both Friedman and Brunner and Meltzer, monetarists dislike the IS-LM framework because it limits monetary influence too narrowly, essentially to the interest elasticity of money demand, and defines investment in an excessively narrow fashion, and even that is not explicit.

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Article provided by Duke University Press in its journal History of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 (Supplement)
Pages: 217-239

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Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:36:y:2004:i:5:p:217-239
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  1. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1972. "Money, Debt, and Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(5), pages 951-77, Sept.-Oct.
  2. De Vroey, Michel, 1997. "IS-LM "à la Hicks" versus IS-LM "à la Modigliani"," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1998003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. William Darity, Jr. & Warren Young, 1995. "IS-LM: An Inquest," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-41, Spring.
  4. Bennett T. McCallum, 1999. "Recent developments in the analysis of monetary policy rules," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 3-12.
  5. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 296-316, August.
  6. James Tobin, 1969. "Money and Income: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 283, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  9. David Colander, 2004. "The Strange Persistence of the IS-LM Model," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 36(5), pages 305-322, Supplemen.
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  12. Warren Young & William Darity, Jr., 2004. "IS-LM-BP: An Inquest," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 36(5), pages 127-164, Supplemen.
  13. Milton Friedman, 1959. "The Demand for Money: Some Theoretical and Empirical Results," NBER Chapters, in: The Demand for Money: Some Theoretical and Empirical Results, pages 1-29 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. " The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(2), pages 129-48.
  15. Leonall C. Andersen & Jerry L. Jordon, 1968. "Monetary and fiscal actions: a test of their relative importance in economic stabilization," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 11-23.
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  17. Laidler, David, 1981. "Monetarism: An Interpretation and an Assessment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 1-28, March.
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