Chapter 34 - 815-835_CH34_Econ.qxp 10/31/05 6:40 PM Page...

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>> GGRESSIVE MONETARY POL- icy,” declared the 2004 Eco- nomic Report of the President , “can reduce the depth of a recession.” Few modern macroeconomists would disagree. There are many public arguments about macroeconomic policy—arguments that can play a central role in political campaigns. But there is a broad consensus among macro- economists about how the economy works. The view that expansionary monetary policy can be effective in fighting recessions is part of that consensus. And that consensus is re- flected in actual policy: as the two panels of the accompanying figure show, monetary policy responded very aggressively to the 2001 recession. PURGE THE ROTTENNESS? What you will learn in this chapter: Why classical macroeconomics wasn’t adequate for the problems posed by the Great Depression The core ideas of Keynesian eco- nomics How challenges led to a revision of Keynesian ideas The ideas behind new classical macroeconomics The elements of the modern con- sensus, and the main remaining disputes A chapter 815 34 The Making of Modern Macroeconomics Yet today’s consensus about monetary policy didn’t always exist. There was a time when many economists opposed any effort to fight recessions. At the beginning of the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover’s secre- tary of the treasury, Andrew Mellon, was firmly opposed to any monetary expansion. Hoover would later claim that Mellon’s ad- vice was to let the slump take its course: “It will purge the rottenness out of the sys- tem.” This advice reflected the views of many eminent economists of the day, who regarded aggressive monetary policy as dangerous and ineffective. When Franklin Roosevelt, Hoover’s suc- cessor, took office, there was an intense de- bate among his advisers about whether to Money supply (M1, billions of dollars) Year $1,400 1,300 1,200 1,100 1996 1999 2001 2002 2005 (a) The Money Supply Rose Sharply in Response to the 2001 Recession… Federal funds rate Year 8% 6 4 2 (b) …While the Federal Funds Rate Fell Sharply. 2001 Recession 2001 Recession The Fed responded to the 2001 recession, indicated by the shaded area in both panels, with a rapid expansion of the money supply (panel (a)) and sharp cuts in the federal funds rate (panel (b)). Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; National Bureau of Economic Research. An Example of Aggressive Monetary Policy 815-835_CH34_Econ.qxp 10/31/05 6:40 PM Page 815
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816 PART 15 EVENTS AND IDEAS Classical Macroeconomics The term macroeconomics appears to have been coined in 1933 by the Norwegian econ- omist Ragnar Frisch; the date, during the worst year of the Great Depression, is no ac- cident. Still, there were economists analyzing what we now consider macroeconomic issues—the behavior of the aggregate price level and aggregate output—before then. Money and the Price Level
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2011 for the course MATH 1105 taught by Professor Kyle during the Fall '10 term at Austral Chile.

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Chapter 34 - 815-835_CH34_Econ.qxp 10/31/05 6:40 PM Page...

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