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How Important is Money in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?

  • Michael Woodford

This paper was presented as the 2006 W.A. Mackintosh Lecture at Queen's University. I consider some of the leading arguments for assigning an important role to tracking the growth of monetary aggregates when making decisions about monetary policy. First, I consider whether ignoring money means returning to the conceptual framework that allowed the high inflation of the 1970s. Second, I consider whether models of inflation determination with no role for money are incomplete, or inconsistent with elementary economic principles. Third, I consider the implications for monetary policy strategy of the empirical evidence for a long­run relationship between money growth and inflation. (Here I give particular attention to the implications of "two-­pillar Phillips curves" of the kind proposed by Gerlach (2003).) And fourth, I consider reasons why a monetary policy strategy based solely on short-­run inflation forecasts derived from a Phillips curve may not be a reliable way of controlling inflation. I argue that none of these considerations provide a compelling reason to assign a prominent role to monetary aggregates in the conduct of monetary policy.

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Date of creation: 24 Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000001419
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