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Financial Stability, Monetarism and the Wicksell Connection


  • David Laidler

    (University of Western Ontario and C.D. Howe Institute)


In today's discussions of central banking, maintaining macro-financial stability has only recently appeared along-side the pursuit of low inflation as an important policy goal. This is in strong contrast to the earlier literature, where financial stability was often the main concern of the theory of central banking. This theme is explored here first from the point of view of the monetarist tradition, which treated an excess demand for money which the central bank in its capacity as lender of last resort had an obligation to relieve as a central feature of financial crises; and then from that of a later Wicksellian tradition, where co-ordination failures in the inter-temporal allocation of resources that it was monetary policy's task to avoid, were emphasized. Though there are no long-lost sure cures for financial instability awaiting discovery in the older literature, its emphasis on the potential for markets to fail to clear provides a helpful perspective on the phenomenon, often missing from modern models of the conduct of monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Laidler, 2009. "Financial Stability, Monetarism and the Wicksell Connection," Review of Economic Analysis, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ren:journl:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:60-79

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. William R. White, 2013. "Is Monetary Policy a Science? The Interaction of Theory and Practice over the Last 50 Years," SUERF 50th Anniversary Volume Chapters, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
    2. Juan Pablo Zárate Perdomo & Adolfo León Cobo Serna & José Eduardo Gómez-González, 2012. "Lecciones de las crisis financieras recientes para el diseño e implementación de las políticas monetarias," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 30(69), pages 258-293, December.
    3. William R. White, 2014. "The Prudential Regulation of Financial Institutions: Why Regulatory Responses to the Crisis Might Not Prove Sufficient," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1108, OECD Publishing.
    4. Nicolas Barbaroux, 2007. "Woodford and Wicksell: a Cashless Economy or a Moneyless Economy Framework ?," Post-Print ujm-00162418, HAL.
    5. Barbaroux, Nicolas, 2008. "The Wicksellian Flavour in Macroeconomics," PERFIL DE COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE, August.
    6. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
    7. Sheetal K. Chand, 2012. "The Relevance of Haavelmo's Macroeconomic Theorizing for Contemporary Macro Policy Making," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 37, pages 1-3.
    8. Yuli Radev, 2015. "New dynamic disequilibrium," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 65-90.
    9. Juan Pablo Zárate Perdomo & Adolfo Léon Cobo Serna & Jose Eduardo Gómez González, 2012. "Lecciones de las crisis financieras recientes para el diseño e implementación de las políticas monetaria y financiera en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 708, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    10. Ronny Mazzocchi, 2013. "Scope and Flaws of the New Neoclassical Synthesis," DEM Discussion Papers 2013/13, Department of Economics and Management.
    11. Howitt, Peter, 2012. "What have central bankers learned from modern macroeconomic theory?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 11-22.

    More about this item


    Financial stability; financial instability; crises; co-ordination failure; lender of last resort; inflation; monetarism; forced saving; Wicksell;

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • 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
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies


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