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Would a Free Banking System Target NGDP Growth?

Author

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  • Alexander William Salter

    (Berry College, Department of Economics)

  • Andrew T. Young

    (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics)

Abstract

Building on Selgin (1994), we develop a simple model of free banking and study the system’s effects on familiar macroeconomic variables. We show a free banking system does in fact stabilize nominal income in response to aggregate demand shocks. However, in the event of an aggregate supply shock, a free banking system instead stabilizes inflation, engaging in mildly procyclical behavior. We conclude by calling for a broader study of nominal income targeting and free banking in the tradition of ‘monetary constitutionalism’ (Yeager 1962; White et al. 2014) to ascertain whether this result, while almost certainly not the best of all ossible worlds, is in fact the best of all probable worlds.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander William Salter & Andrew T. Young, 2015. "Would a Free Banking System Target NGDP Growth?," Working Papers 15-08, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:15-08
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    File URL: http://busecon.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/15-08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sumner, Scott, 1995. "The Impact of Futures Price Targeting on the Precision and Credibility of Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 89-106, February.
    2. Selgin, George, 1994. "Free Banking and Monetary Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1449-1459, November.
    3. Selgin, George, 2001. "In-Concert Overexpansion and the Precautionary Demand for Bank Reserves," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 294-300, May.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1999. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semiclassical Structural Model," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 15-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. McCallum, Bennett T, 1985. "On Consequences and Criticisms of Monetary Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(4), pages 570-597, November.
    6. Bean, Charles R, 1983. "Targeting Nominal Income: An Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 806-819, December.
    7. Alexander William Salter, 2013. "Not all NGDP Is Created Equal: A Critique of Market Monetarism," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 29(Fall 2013), pages 41-52.
    8. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
    9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    11. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
    12. Hogan, Thomas L., 2015. "Has the Fed improved U.S. economic performance?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 257-266.
    13. George A. Selgin & Lawrence H. White, 1994. "How Would the Invisible Hand Handle Money?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1718-1749, December.
    14. Sumner, Scott, 1989. "Using Futures Instrument Prices to Target Nominal Income," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 157-162, April.
    15. Alexander Salter, 2014. "Is there a self-enforcing monetary constitution?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 280-300, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central banking; free banking; inflation; monetary constitution; nominal income targeting;

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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