IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10833.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Deflation and Monetary Policy in a Historical Perspective: Remembering the Past or Being Condemned to Repeat It?

Author

Listed:
  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Andrew Filardo

Abstract

What does the historical record tell us about how to conduct monetary policy in a deflationary environment? We present a broad cross-country historical study of deflation over the past two centuries in order to shed light on current policy challenges. We first review the theoretical literature on deflation. We then characterize deflation by distinguishing among the "good, the bad and the ugly" ones - considering both empirical determinants and historical narratives of each type. Emphasis is put on the linkages between the current inflation environment and that of the gold standard period. Particular attention is also put on what the historical record reveals about policies to escape undesirable deflation. In this regard we develop a policy typology based on the relative merits of interest rate and monetary instruments in combating different types of inflation/deflation behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2004. "Deflation and Monetary Policy in a Historical Perspective: Remembering the Past or Being Condemned to Repeat It?," NBER Working Papers 10833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10833 Note: DAE ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10833.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
    2. Frederic S Mishkin, 2004. "Can Central Bank Transparency Go Too Far?," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Tobin, James, 1975. "Keynesian Models of Recession and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 195-202.
    4. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226519999 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Michael Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Daniela Klingebiel & Maria Soledad Martinez-Peria, 2001. "Is the crisis problem growing more severe?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 51-82, April.
    6. Mark A. Wynne & Diego Rodriguez-Palenzuela, 2004. "Measurement Bias in the HICP: What do we know and What do we need to know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 79-112, February.
    7. E.O. Svensson, Lars, 1994. "Why exchange rate bands? : Monetary independence in spite of fixed exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 157-199, February.
    8. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 825-860.
    9. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "Monetary policy in deflation: the liquidity trap in history and practice," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 101-124, March.
    10. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2001. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    11. Willem H. Buiter & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 2003. "Overcoming the zero bound on nominal interest rates with negative interest on currency: gesell's solution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 723-746, October.
    12. Coenen Günter & Orphanides Athanasios & Wieland Volker, 2004. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, pages 1-25.
    13. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under imperfect competition," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 183-209.
    14. Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The future of monetary aggregates in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1029-1059, July.
    15. John Joseph Wallis, 2001. "What Caused the Crisis of 1839?," NBER Historical Working Papers 0133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
    17. Gerlach, Stefan & Svensson, Lars E. O., 2003. "Money and inflation in the euro area: A case for monetary indicators?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1649-1672, November.
    18. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 535-563, June.
    19. Andrew Filardo & Claudio E. V. Borio, 2004. "Back to the future? Assessing the deflation record," BIS Working Papers 152, Bank for International Settlements.
    20. Ben S. Bernanke & Kevin Carey, 1996. "Nominal Wage Stickiness and Aggregate Supply in the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 5439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Bordo,Michael D., 2005. "The Gold Standard and Related Regimes," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521022941, December.
    22. Hanes, Christopher, 1993. "The Development of Nominal Wage Rigidity in the Late 19th Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 732-756, September.
    23. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
    24. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon Lane & Angela Redish, 2004. "Good versus Bad Deflation: Lessons from the Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 10329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2000. "Decoupling at the Margin: The Threat to Monetary Policy from the Electronic Revolution in Banking," NBER Working Papers 7955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Bordo, Michael D. & Choudhri, Ehsan U. & Schwartz, Anna J., 2002. "Was Expansionary Monetary Policy Feasible during the Great Contraction? An Examination of the Gold Standard Constraint," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-28, January.
    27. Bennett T. McCallum, 2004. "Monetary Policy In Economies With Little Or No Money," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 81-92, June.
    28. Michael D. Bordo & Joseph G. Haubrich, 2004. "The Yield Curve, Recessions and the Credibility of the Monetary Regime: Long Run Evidence 1875-1997," NBER Working Papers 10431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Marvin Goodfriend, 2000. "Overcoming the zero bound on interest rate policy," Working Paper 00-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    30. Peter Kugler & Georg Rich, 2002. "Monetary Policy Under Low Interest Rates: The Experience of Switzerland in the late 1970s," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(III), pages 241-269, September.
    31. Bordo, Michael David & Ellson, Richard Wayne, 1985. "A model of the classical gold standard with depletion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 109-120, July.
    32. Eichengreen, Barry & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1985. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 925-946, December.
    33. Christopher Hanes & John A. James, 2003. "Wage Adjustment Under Low Inflation: Evidence from U.S. History," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1414-1424, September.
    34. Victor Zarnowitz, 1992. "Business Cycles: Theory, History, Indicators, and Forecasting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number zarn92-1, January.
    35. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 519-546.
    36. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 669-682.
    37. Klein, Benjamin, 1975. "Our New Monetary Standard: The Measurement and Effects of Price Uncertainty, 1880-1973," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(4), pages 461-484, December.
    38. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto, 2004. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz Hypothesis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 169, Society for Computational Economics.
    39. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters,in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. Bordo, Michael D. & White, Eugene N., 1991. "A Tale of Two Currencies: British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 303-316, June.
    41. 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.
    42. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
    43. Bordo, Michael D & Choudhri, Ehsan U & Schwartz, Anna J, 1995. "Could Stable Money Have Averted the Great Contraction?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 484-505, July.
    44. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
    45. Hanes, Christopher, 2006. "The Liquidity Trap and U.S. Interest Rates in the 1930s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 163-194, February.
    46. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 145-166, Fall.
    47. Benjamin Klein, 1975. "Our New Monetary Standard: The Measurement and Effects of Price Uncertainty," UCLA Economics Working Papers 062, UCLA Department of Economics.
    48. Keating, John W & Nye, John V, 1998. "Permanent and Transitory Shocks in Real Output: Estimates from Nineteenth-Century and Postwar Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(2), pages 231-251, May.
    49. J. Bradford DeLong, 2000. "America's historical experience with low inflation," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 979-1006.
    50. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
    51. Romer, Christina D., 1992. "What Ended the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 757-784, December.
    52. Berg, Claes & Jonung, Lars, 1999. "Pioneering price level targeting: The Swedish experience 1931-1937," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 525-551, June.
    53. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
    54. Kenneth J. McLaughlin, 1999. "Are nominal wage changes skewed away from wage cuts?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 117-132.
    55. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    56. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1999. "How should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 195-259.
    57. Michael Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2005. "Deflation and monetary policy in a historical perspective: remembering the past or being condemned to repeat it?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 799-844, October.
    58. Claudio Borio & William English & Andrew Filardo, 2003. "A tale of two perspectives: old or new challenges for monetary policy?," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 1-59 Bank for International Settlements.
    59. Willard Long Thorp, 1926. "Business Annals," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number thor26-1, January.
    60. Bordo, Michael D. & MacDonald, Ronald, 2005. "Interest rate interactions in the classical gold standard, 1880-1914: was there any monetary independence?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 307-327, March.
    61. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Introduction to "Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, The"," NBER Chapters,in: The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    62. White, Eugene N, 1990. "The Stock Market Boom and Crash of 1929 Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 67-83, Spring.
    63. Friedman, Benjamin M, 2000. "Decoupling at the Margin: The Threat to Monetary Policy from the Electronic Revolution in Banking," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 261-272, July.
    64. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1984. "A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord84-1, January.
    65. Martin Feldstein & James H. Stock, 1994. "The Use of a Monetary Aggregate to Target Nominal GDP," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 7-69 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    66. Enders, Walter & Granger, Clive W J, 1998. "Unit-Root Tests and Asymmetric Adjustment with an Example Using the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(3), pages 304-311, July.
    67. Joseph H. Davis, 2004. "An Annual Index of U. S. Industrial Production, 1790–1915," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1177-1215.
    68. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, January.
    69. Choudhri, Ehsan U & Kochin, Levis A, 1980. "The Exchange Rate and the International Transmission of Business Cycle Disturbances: Some Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 565-574, November.
    70. Marvin Goodfriend, 2000. "Overcoming the zero bound on interest rate policy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 1007-1057.
    71. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
    72. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 519-546.
    73. Ben S. Bernanke & Kevin Carey, 1996. "Nominal Wage Stickiness and Aggregate Supply in the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 853-883.
    74. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    75. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld99-1, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10833. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.