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Monetarist Rules in the Light of Recent Experience

  • Bennett T. McCallum

Recent experience does not include a "monetarist experiment," as some have argued, but may slightly reinforce preexisting reasons for doubting that the best way of formulating monetarist policy prescriptions is in the form of a constant growth rule for the money stock.A more desirable rule would pertain to the monetary base, which is much more directly under Fed control. While a constant base growth rule might provide good macroeconomic performance, better results should be obtainable from a rule that at regular intervals adjusts the base growth rate upward or downward depending on whether nominal GNP is below or above a target path that specifies constant, non-inflationary growth for that variable. This type of rule is activist, to an extent, but is non-discretionary.The implied absence of policy-making flexibility is desirable for reasons explained in the literature on dynamic inconsistency.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1277.

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Date of creation: Feb 1984
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Publication status: published as McCallum, Bennett T. "Monetarist Rules in the Light of Recent Experience." American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 2, (May 1984), pp. 388-391.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1277
Note: ME
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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. McCallum, Bennett T & Hoehn, James G, 1983. "Instrument Choice for Money Stock Control with Contemporaneous and Lagged Reserve Requirements: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(1), pages 96-101, February.
  3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  4. Bennett T. McCallum, 1981. "Monetarist Principles and the Money Stock Growth Rule," NBER Working Papers 0630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1983. "Strategies and tactics for monetary control," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-103, January.
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