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Chicago Monetary Traditions

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This paper, prepared for the forthcoming Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics (Ross Emmett and Malcolm Rutherford eds.) describes monetary economics as it existed in four eras at the University of Chicago. It begins with analysis, based on the Real Bills Doctrine, developed by J. Laurence Laughlin, the first chairman of the Chicago Economics Department, and such students as Henry Parker Willis, which had an important influence on the original Federal Reserve Act, and then successively discusses: the inter-war "Chicago tradition" of such economists as Jacob Viner and Henry Simons, but also encompassing Paul Douglas's under-consumptionism; Milton Friedman's "Monetarism"; and New-classical economics as pioneered by Robert E. Lucas Jr. The paper's basic theme is that, although Chicago monetary thought has never been quite as unique and single-minded as some of its admirers have claimed from time to time, it did maintain a certain distinctiveness during its first three eras that has now disappeared.

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  • David Laidler, 2003. "Chicago Monetary Traditions," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:20033
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    1. Tobin, James, 1981. "The Monetarist Counter-Revolution Today-An Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 29-42, March.
    2. George S. Tavlas, 1998. "Was the Monetarist Tradition Invented?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 211-222.
    3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    4. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
    6. Sargent, Thomas J. & Wallace, Neil, 1976. "Rational expectations and the theory of economic policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 169-183.
    7. Sargent, Thomas J. & Wallace, Neil, 1976. "Rational expectations and the theory of economic policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 169-183.
    8. Robert W. DIMAND, 2003. "Competing Visions For The U.S. Monetary System, 1907-1913: The Quest For An Elastic Currency And The Rejection Of Fisher'S Compensated Dollar Rule For Price Stability," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, pages 101-121.
    9. Henry C. Simons, 1936. "Rules versus Authorities in Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44, pages 1-1.
    10. Ronnie Phillips, 1992. "The 'Chicago Plan' and New Deal Banking Reform," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_76, Levy Economics Institute.
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