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The Great Inflation: Did the Shadow Know Better?

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  • William Poole
  • Robert H. Rasche
  • David C. Wheelock

Abstract

The Shadow Open Market Committee was formed in 1973 in response to rising inflation and the apparent unwillingness of U.S. policymakers to implement policies necessary to maintain price stability. This paper describes how the Committee's policy views differed from those of most Federal Reserve officials and many academic economists at the time. The Shadow argued that price stability should be the primary goal of monetary policy and favored gradual adjustment of monetary growth to a rate consistent with price stability. This paper evaluates the Shadow's policy rule in the context of the New Keynesian macroeconomic model of Clarida, Gali, and Gertler (1999). Simulations of the model suggest that the gradual stabilization of monetary growth favored by the Shadow would have lowered inflation with less impact on output growth and less variability in inflation or output than a one-time reduction in monetary growth. We conclude that the Shadow articulated a policy that would have outperformed the policies actually implemented by the Federal Reserve during the Great Inflation era.

Suggested Citation

  • William Poole & Robert H. Rasche & David C. Wheelock, 2011. "The Great Inflation: Did the Shadow Know Better?," NBER Working Papers 16910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16910
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    1. Could the Shadow Open Market Committee have outperfomed the Fed?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-05-10 18:51:00

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    1. Neuenkirch, Matthias & Siklos, Pierre L., 2013. "What's in a second opinion? Shadowing the ECB and the Bank of England," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 135-148.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • 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

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