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Federal Reserve Structure and the Production of Monetary Policy Ideas
We evaluate the decentralized structure of the Federal Reserve System as a mechanism for generating and processing new ideas on monetary policy over the 1960 - 2000 period. We document the introduction of monetarism, rational expectations, credibility, transparency, and other monetary policy ideas by Reserve Banks into the Federal Reserve System. We argue that the Reserve Banks were willing to support and develop new ideas due to internal reforms to the FOMC that Chairman William McChesney Martin implemented in the 1950s and the increased ties with academia that developed in this period. ...
Federal Reserve Structure, Economic Ideas, and Monetary and Financial Policy
The decentralized structure of the Federal Reserve System is evaluated as a mechanism for generating and processing new ideas on monetary and financial policy. The role of the Reserve Banks starting in the 1960s is emphasized. The introduction of monetarism in the 1960s, rational expectations in the 1970s, credibility in the 1980s, transparency, and other monetary policy ideas by Reserve Banks into the Federal Reserve System is documented. Contributions by Reserve Banks to policy on bank structure, bank regulation, and lender of last resort are also discussed. We argue that the Reserve Banks ...
The Poverty of Macroeconomics --- What the Chemical Revolution Tells Us about Neoclassical Production Function
Quantitative macroeconomics is often portrayed as a science—because of its intensive use of high-powered mathematics—with the possible limitation of being unable to conduct controlled experiments. To qualify as a science, however, theories in that discipline must meet a minimum number of criteria: (i) It has explanatory power to explain phenomena; (ii) it has predictive power to yield quantifiable and falsifiable statements about new phenomenon; and (iii) it has operational power to change the world. A scientific theory consists of axioms and working hypotheses that facilitate the ...
Federal Reserve Structure and Economic Ideas
This essay was written in memory of Marvin Goodfriend for a Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond book called Essays in Honor of Marvin Goodfriend: Economist and Central Banker. We discuss his Carnegie-Rochester conference paper titled "The Role of a Regional Bank in a System of Central Banks." In that paper, Marvin argued that the Federal Reserve's decentralized structure allowed for competing ideas about monetary and banking policy to develop with the central bank. In our essay, we describe how Marvin demonstrated this argument during his long career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. We ...