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Monetary equilibrium and price stickiness reconsidered: A reply to Bagus and Howden

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  • William Luther

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  • Alexander Salter

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Abstract

Bagus and Howden (Review of Austrian Economics 24(4): 383–402, 2011 ) argue that price stickiness is a poor justification for advocating a flexible money supply through the issuing of fiduciary media under central or free banking. They view the contraction in output following an exogenous increase in money demand as an optimal response, worry about redistribution effects from the issuance of fiduciary media, and claim a changing money supply complicates economic calculation. Accepting their view that the contraction in output is an optimal response to an exogenous change in money demand, we still find a potentially beneficial role for monetary policy (under central banking) or fractional reserve note issue (under free banking). We show that even if all prices were perfectly flexible, changes in the money supply to offset changes in money demand might still be desirable. We point out several errors and mischaracterizations in their article, justify our decision to disregard wealth transfers, and discuss how a flexible money supply might facilitate economic calculation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • William Luther & Alexander Salter, 2012. "Monetary equilibrium and price stickiness reconsidered: A reply to Bagus and Howden," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 263-269, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:25:y:2012:i:3:p:263-269
    DOI: 10.1007/s11138-012-0184-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
    2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    4. Philipp Bagus & David Howden, 2011. "Monetary equilibrium and price stickiness: Causes, consequences and remedies," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 383-402, December.
    5. Bagus, Philipp & Howden, David, 2010. "Fractional Reserve Banking: Some Quibbles," MPRA Paper 79590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. George Selgin, 2012. "Mere quibbles: Bagus and Howden’s critique of the theory of free banking," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 131-148, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:jpe:journl:1475 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alexander Salter, 2014. "Is there a self-enforcing monetary constitution?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 280-300, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Austrian economics; Central banking; Commodity standard; Fiat money; Free banking; Macroeconomics; Money; Monetary equilibrium theory; Monetary standard; Sticky information; Sticky prices; B53; E31; E32; E40; E42; E43; E44; E50; E51; E52;

    JEL classification:

    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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