IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ijc/ijcjou/y2012q2a7.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Review of Allan Meltzer’s A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2

Author

Listed:
  • Edward Nelson

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

This paper reviews Allan H. Meltzer’s A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2. This two-book volume covers Federal Reserve policies from 1951 to 1986. The book represents an enormous achievement in synthesizing a great amount of archival information into a historical account grounded on economic analysis. At the same time, Meltzer’s interpretation of specific eras is open to question. He does not appear to acknowledge adequately the degree to which 1950s monetary policy decisions had a solid analytical foundation. Furthermore, Meltzer’s account of the shift from the 1970s inflation to the 1980s disinflation implausibly stresses a shift in policymakers’ objective function. The crucial change over this period, both in the United States and other countries, is more likely to have been policymakers’ improved grasp of the connections between monetary policy and inflation. The review also takes issue with Meltzer’s account, in his book’s epilogue, of the financial crisis from 2007 to 2009. In this epilogue, Meltzer understates the degree to which the Federal Reserve’s reaction to the financial crisis was in line with the historical practice of the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Nelson, 2012. "A Review of Allan Meltzer’s A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(2), pages 241-266, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2012:q:2:a:7
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ijcb.org/journal/ijcb12q2a7.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.ijcb.org/journal/ijcb12q2a7.htm
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policy-Makers' Beliefs and U. S. Postwar Stabilization Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 867-901.
    2. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Monetary Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232316, January.
    3. Riccardo DiCecio & Edward Nelson, 2009. "The great inflation in the United States and the United Kingdom: reconciling policy decisions and data outcomes," Working Papers 2009-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1999. "Money growth targeting by the Bundesbank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 681-701, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Dean Scrimgeour, 2008. "The Great Inflation Was Not Asymmetric: International Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 799-815, June.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 61-110.
    8. Alfred Broaddus & Marvin Goodfriend, 1984. "Base drift and the longer run growth of M1 : experience from a decade of monetary targeting," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Nov, pages 3-14.
    9. Hetzel,Robert L., 2008. "The Monetary Policy of the Federal Reserve," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521881326.
    10. Allan H. Meltzer, 1965. "Monetary Theory and Monetary History," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 101(IV), pages 404-422, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

    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:ijc:ijcjou:y:2012:q:2:a:7. 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: (Bank for International Settlements). General contact details of provider: http://www.ijcb.org/ .

    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 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.

    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.