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International Financial Aggregation and Index Number Theory: A Chronological Half-Century Empirical Overview

  • William Barnett

    (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas)

  • Marcelle Chauvet

    (University of California at Riverside)

This paper comprises a survey of a half century of research on international monetary aggregate data. We argue that since monetary assets began yielding interest, the simple sum monetary aggregates have had no foundations in economic theory and have sequentially produced one source of misunderstanding after another. The bad data produced by simple sum aggregation have contaminated research in monetary economics, have resulted in needless “paradoxes,” and have produced decades of misunderstandings in international monetary economics research and policy. While better data, based correctly on index number theory and aggregation theory, now exist, the official central bank data most commonly used have not improved in most parts of the world. While aggregation theoretic monetary aggregates exist for internal use at the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and many other central banks throughout the world, the only central banks that currently make aggregation theoretic monetary aggregates available to the public are the Bank of England and the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. No other area of economics has been so seriously damaged by data unrelated to valid index number and aggregation theory. In this paper we chronologically review the past research in this area and connect the data errors with the resulting policy and inference errors. Future research on monetary aggregation and policy can most advantageously focus on extensions to exchange rate risk and its implications for multilateral aggregation over monetary asset portfolios containing assets denominated in more than one currency. The relevant theory for multilateral aggregation with exchange rate risk has been derived by Barnett (2007) and Barnett and Wu (2005).

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Paper provided by University of Kansas, Department of Economics in its series WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS with number 200804.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Sep 2008
Handle: RePEc:kan:wpaper:200804
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  1. Drake, Leigh, 1992. "The Substitutability of Financial Assets in the U.K. and the Implications for Monetary Aggregation," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 60(3), pages 221-48, September.
  2. Belongia, Michael T, 1996. "Measurement Matters: Recent Results from Monetary Economics Reexamined," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1065-83, October.
  3. William Barnett, 2005. "Monetary Aggregation," Macroeconomics 0503017, EconWPA.
  4. William Barnett & Unja Chae & John Keating, 2005. "The Discounted Economic Stock of Money with VAR Forecasting," Macroeconomics 0508021, EconWPA.
  5. William Barnett, 2004. "Multilateral Aggregation-Theoretic Monetary Aggregation over Heterogeneous Countries," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200413, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2004.
  6. William A. Barnett, 1996. "Which Road Leads to Stable Money Demand?," Macroeconomics 9611001, EconWPA.
  7. William Barnett & Apostolos Serletis & W. Erwin Diewert, 2005. "The Theory of Monetary Aggregation (book front matter)," Macroeconomics 0511008, EconWPA.
  8. Barnett, William A., 1978. "The user cost of money," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 145-149.
  9. Barnett, William A & Offenbacher, Edward K & Spindt, Paul A, 1984. "The New Divisia Monetary Aggregates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1049-85, December.
  10. Belongia, Michael T. & Ireland, Peter N., 2006. "The Own-Price of Money and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 429-445, March.
  11. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  12. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie70-1, December.
  13. Chauvet, Marcelle, 1998. "An Econometric Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 969-96, November.
  14. Stephen M. Goldfeld, 1973. "The Demand for Money Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(3), pages 577-646.
  15. William A. Barnett & Shu Wu, 2004. "On User Costs of Risky Monetary Assets," Macroeconomics 0406009, EconWPA.
  16. Richard G. Anderson, 2006. "Monetary base," Working Papers 2006-049, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  17. Barnett, William A. & Chauvet, Marcelle & Tierney, Heather L. R., 2008. "Measurement Error in Monetary Aggregates: A Markov Switching Factor Approach," MPRA Paper 10179, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Belongia, Michael T & Chrystal, K Alec, 1991. "An Admissible Monetary Aggregate for the United Kingdom," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 497-503, August.
  19. Swamy, P. A. V. B. & Tinsley, P. A., 1980. "Linear prediction and estimation methods for regression models with stationary stochastic coefficients," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-142, February.
  20. Schunk, Donald L, 2001. "The Relative Forecasting Performance of the Divisia and Simple Sum Monetary Aggregates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 272-83, May.
  21. Barnett, William A & Hahm, Jeong Ho, 1994. "Financial-Firm Production of Monetary Services: A Generalized Symmetric Barnett Variable-Profit-Function Approach," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(1), pages 33-46, January.
  22. Barnett, William A. & Liu, Yi & Jensen, Mark, 1997. "Capm Risk Adjustment For Exact Aggregation Over Financial Assets," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 485-512, June.
  23. Jones, Barry E. & Dutkowsky, Donald H. & Elger, Thomas, 2005. "Sweep programs and optimal monetary aggregation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 483-508, February.
  24. Barnett, William A. & Hinich, Melvin J. & Weber, Warren E., 1986. "The regulatory wedge between the demand-side and supply-side aggregation-theoretic monetary aggregates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 165-185.
  25. Barnett, William A & Fisher, Douglas & Serletis, Apostolos, 1992. "Consumer Theory and the Demand for Money," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2086-2119, December.
  26. Barnett, William A., 1980. "Economic monetary aggregates an application of index number and aggregation theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 11-48, September.
  27. Barnett, William A, 1982. "The Optimal Level of Monetary Aggregation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(4), pages 687-710, November.
  28. Piyu Yue & Robert Fluri, 1991. "Divisia monetary services indexes for Switzerland: are they useful for monetary targeting?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 19-33.
  29. Van Hoa, Tran, 1985. "A divisia system approach to modelling monetary aggregates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 365-368.
  30. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
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