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

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  • William Barnett

    (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas)

  • Marcelle Chauvet

    (University of California at Riverside)

Abstract

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).

Suggested Citation

  • William Barnett & Marcelle Chauvet, 2008. "International Financial Aggregation and Index Number Theory: A Chronological Half-Century Empirical Overview," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200804, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:kan:wpaper:200804
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rayton, Bruce A. & Pavlyk, Khrystyna, 2010. "On the recent divergence between measures of the money supply in the UK," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 159-162, August.
    2. Nelson, Edward, 2013. "Friedman's monetary economics in practice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 59-83.
    3. Serletis, Apostolos & Koustas, Zisimos, 2019. "Monetary Neutrality," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(6), pages 2133-2149, September.
      • Apostolos Serletis & Zisimos Koustas, "undated". "Monetary Neutrality," Working Papers 2015-06, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 29 May 2015.
    4. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 2010. "Money and Inflation: Some Critical Issues," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 97-153, Elsevier.
    5. Sajjadur Rahman, 2018. "The Lucas hypothesis on monetary shocks: evidence from a GARCH-in-mean model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(4), pages 1411-1450, June.
    6. Barnett, William A. & Chauvet, Marcelle, 2008. "The End of the Great Moderation: “We told you so.”," MPRA Paper 11642, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Apostolos Serletis & Khandokar Istiak, 2016. "Are the Responses of the U.S. Economy Asymmetric to Positive and Negative Money Supply Shocks?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 303-316, April.
    8. Apostolos Serletis & Sajjadur Rahman, 2015. "On the Output Effects of Monetary Variability," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 225-236, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Measurement error; monetary aggregation; Divisia index; aggregation; monetary policy; index number theory; exchange rate risk; multilateral aggregation; open economy monetary economics.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation

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