A Monetary History of the United States 1867-19604.02 · Rating details · 311 Ratings · 7 Reviews
Writing in the June 1965 issue of theEconomic Journal, Harry G. Johnson begins with a sentence seemingly calibrated to the scale of the book he set himself to review: "The long-awaited monetary history of the United States by Friedman and Schwartz is in every sense of the term a monumental scholarly achievement--monumental in its sheer bulk, monumental in the definitivenesWriting in the June 1965 issue of theEconomic Journal, Harry G. Johnson begins with a sentence seemingly calibrated to the scale of the book he set himself to review: "The long-awaited monetary history of the United States by Friedman and Schwartz is in every sense of the term a monumental scholarly achievement--monumental in its sheer bulk, monumental in the definitiveness of its treatment of innumerable issues, large and small . . . monumental, above all, in the theoretical and statistical effort and ingenuity that have been brought to bear on the solution of complex and subtle economic issues."
Friedman and Schwartz marshaled massive historical data and sharp analytics to support the claim that monetary policy--steady control of the money supply--matters profoundly in the management of the nation's economy, especially in navigating serious economic fluctuations. In their influential chapter 7, The Great Contraction--which Princeton published in 1965 as a separate paperback--they address the central economic event of the century, the Depression. According to Hugh Rockoff, writing in January 1965: "If Great Depressions could be prevented through timely actions by the monetary authority (or by a monetary rule), as Friedman and Schwartz had contended, then the case for market economies was measurably stronger."
Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976 for work related to A Monetary History as well as to his other Princeton University Press book, A Theory of the Consumption Function (1957)....more
paper, 888 pages
Published November 21st 1971 by Princeton University Press (first published 1963)
The Contribution of a Monetary History of the United States: 1867 to 1960 To Monetary History
Michael D. Bordo
NBER Working Paper No. 2549 (Also Reprint No. r1177)
Issued in April 1988
NBER Program(s):Monetary Economics
This paper assesses the role of Friedman and Schwartz's "A Monetary History of the United Slates: 1867 to 1960" as a progenitor of research in monetary history. The paper critically surveys the literature on three major themes in the book: monetary disturbances; the domestic monetary framework and monetary policy: and monetary standards. The book's unique portrayal of the historical circumstances of monetary disturbances and of alternative institutional arrangements serves as the closest thing to a laboratory experiment for the monetary economist. Historical study has become an important tool of modern macroeconomic research.
Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2549
- The Contribution of "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960" to Monetary History. From Money, History and International Finance: Essaysin Honor of Anna J. Schwartz, edited by Michael D. Bordo, pp. 15-70. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989.
- The Contribution of "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960" to Monetary History, Michael D. Bordo. in Money, History, and International Finance: Essays in Honor of Anna J. Schwartz, Bordo. 1989