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Milton Friedman, the Demand for Money and the ECB’s Monetary-Policy Strategy


  • Stephen Hall


  • P.A.V.B. Swamy
  • George S. Tavlas



The European Central Bank (ECB) assigns a greater weight to the role of money in its monetary-policy strategy than most, if not all, other major central banks. Nevertheless, reflecting the view that the demand for money became unstable in the early-2000s, some commentators in the press have reported that the ECB has “downgraded” the role of money-demand functions in its strategy. This paper explains the ECB’s monetary-policy strategy and shows the considerable influence of Milton Friedman’s contributions on the formulation of that strategy. The paper also provides new evidence on the stability of euro-area money-demand. Following a conjecture made by Friedman (1956), we assign a role to uncertainty in the money-demand function. We find that, although uncertainty is mean–reverting, it is none-the-less non-stationary, subject to wide swings, and has substantial effects on the demand for money.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Hall & P.A.V.B. Swamy & George S. Tavlas, 2012. "Milton Friedman, the Demand for Money and the ECB’s Monetary-Policy Strategy," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/05, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:12/05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Issing,Otmar, 2008. "The Birth of the Euro," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521731867, March.
    2. George S. Tavlas, 1998. "Was the Monetarist Tradition Invented?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 211-222, Fall.
    3. Stephen Hall & P. Swamy & George Tavlas, 2012. "Generalized cointegration: a new concept with an application to health expenditure and health outcomes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 603-618, April.
    4. P. Swamy & George Tavlas, 2005. "Theoretical conditions under which monetary policies are effective and practical obstacles to their verification," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(4), pages 999-1005, June.
    5. Stephen G.Hall & George Hondroyiannis & P.A.V.B. Swamy & George S. Tavlas, 2007. "A Portofolio Balance Approach to Euro-Area Money Demand in a Time-Varying Environment," Working Papers 61, Bank of Greece.
    6. Edward Nelson, 2008. "Friedman and Taylor on monetary policy rules: a comparison," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 95-116.
    7. Issing,Otmar & Gaspar,Vitor & Angeloni,Ignazio & Tristani,Oreste, 2001. "Monetary Policy in the Euro Area," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521783248, March.
    8. Stephen G. Hall & George Hondroyiannis & P. A. V. B. Swamy & G. S. Tavlas, 2009. "The New Keynesian Phillips Curve and Lagged Inflation: A Case of Spurious Correlation?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 467-481, October.
    9. Issing,Otmar, 2008. "The Birth of the Euro," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521516730, March.
    10. Edward Nelson, 2007. "Milton Friedman and U.S. monetary history: 1961-2006," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 153-182.
    11. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, January.
    12. Swamy P. A. V. B. & Tavlas George S & Hall Stephen G. F. & Hondroyiannis George, 2010. "Estimation of Parameters in the Presence of Model Misspecification and Measurement Error," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-35, May.
    13. P. Swamy & George Tavlas, 2007. "The New Keynesian Phillips Curve and Inflation Expectations: Re-Specification and Interpretation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(2), pages 293-306, May.
    14. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Identifying restrictions of linear equations with applications to simultaneous equations and cointegration," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 111-132, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dreger, Christian & Wolters, Jürgen, 2015. "Unconventional monetary policy and money demand," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 40-54.
    2. Jawadi, Fredj & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2013. "Money demand in the euro area, the US and the UK: Assessing the role of nonlinearity," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 507-515.
    3. Adnan Haider & Asad Jan & Kalim Hyder, 2013. "On the (Ir)Relevance of Monetary Aggregate Targeting in Pakistan: An Eclectic View," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 65-119, July-Dec.

    More about this item


    ECB’s monetary-policy strategy; Milton Friedman; money demand;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money

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