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A Post Keynesian view of central bank independence, policy targets, and the rules versus discretion debate

  • L. Randall Wray

This paper addresses three monetary policy issues—policy independence, choice of targets, and rules versus discretion. According to the new monetary consensus, the central bank needs policy independence to build credibility, the operating target is the overnight interbank lending rate, and the ultimate goal is price stability. An alternative view is presented, arguing that an effective central bank cannot be independent as conventionally defined, where effectiveness is indicated by the ability to hit an overnight nominal interest rate target. Discretionary policy and conventional views of central bank ability to achieve traditional goals such as robust growth, low inflation, or high employment are rejected. Thus, the paper returns to Keynes's call for low interest rates and euthanasia of the rentier.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Post Keynesian Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 119-141

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Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:30:y:2007:i:1:p:119-141
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://mesharpe.metapress.com/link.asp?target=journal&id=109348

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  1. Cottrell, Allin, 1994. "Keynes and the Keynesians on the Fisher Effect," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 416-33, November.
  2. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & L. Randall Wray, . "Targeting Inflation, The Effects of Monetary Policy on the CPI and Its Housing Component," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_27, Levy Economics Institute.
  3. Marc Lavoie, 2002. "Interest parity, risk premia, and Post Keynesian analysis," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 237-249, December.
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