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Seven Fallacies Concerning Milton Friedman's “The Role of Monetary Policy”

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  • EDWARD NELSON

Abstract

This paper analyzes Milton Friedman's (1968a) article “The Role of Monetary Policy,” via a discussion of seven fallacies concerning the article. These fallacies are as follows: (i) “The Role of Monetary Policy” was Friedman's first public statement of the natural rate hypothesis. (ii) The Friedman–Phelps Phillips curve was already present in Samuelson and Solow's (1960) analysis. (iii) Friedman's specification of the Phillips curve was based on perfect competition and no nominal rigidities. (iv) Friedman's (1968a) account of monetary policy in the Great Depression contradicted the Monetary History’s version. (v) Friedman (1968a) stated that a monetary expansion will keep the unemployment rate and the real interest rate below their natural rates for two decades. (vi) The zero lower bound on nominal interest rates invalidates the natural rate hypothesis. (vii) Friedman's (1968a) treatment of an interest‐rate peg was refuted by the rational expectations revolution. The discussion lays out the reasons why each of these seven items is a fallacy and infers key aspects of the framework underlying Friedman's (1968a) analysis.

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  • Edward Nelson, 2020. "Seven Fallacies Concerning Milton Friedman's “The Role of Monetary Policy”," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(1), pages 145-164, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:52:y:2020:i:1:p:145-164
    DOI: 10.1111/jmcb.12591
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    1. Gordon, Robert J., 1976. "Recent developments in the theory of inflation and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 185-219, April.
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    1. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "Models, Markets, and Monetary Policy : a speech at the Hoover Institution Monetary Policy Conference \"Strategies for Monetary Policy,\" Stanford University, Stanford, California, May 3, 201," Speech 1058, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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