The Development of Monetary Economics


The Development of Monetary Economics

A Modern Perspective on Monetary Controversies

9781847202604 Edward Elgar Publishing
D.P. O’Brien, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Durham, UK
Publication Date: 2007 ISBN: 978 1 84720 260 4 Extent: 288 pp
The book seeks, through the examination of monetary controversies, to provide an historical perspective on modern understanding of monetary policy.

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The literature of monetary economics has been characterised by controversy and changes in the received wisdom throughout its history. The controversies have related not merely to the effects on incomes and prices of changes in the money supply, but even to the question of whether causality runs from money to incomes and prices or vice versa. This book begins with the pioneering work of the sixteenth century French writer Jean Bodin, followed by the celebrated John Law, and John Locke (and his eighteenth century critics). It considers both the theory and the evidence involved in the controversy between the Currency and Banking schools. Closely related to this was the work of two writers, Thomas Joplin and Walter Bagehot, both of whom provided perspectives strikingly different from those of the main controversialists and, in so doing, advanced the subject of monetary economics.

The book seeks, through the examination of monetary controversies, to provide an historical perspective on modern understanding of monetary policy. It will be essential reading for economists with an interest in monetary economics and the history of economic thought.
Critical Acclaim
‘The author shows an impressive knowledge of the history of monetary thinking, and is thus able to throw new light on old ideas, considering a huge volume of bibliographic sources that are not available in the vast majority of university libraries. The book is therefore worth reading for scholars interested in the development of monetary ideas within the realm of the quantity theory of money.’
– Sergio Rossi, History of Economic Ideas

‘This is a splendid collection of pieces that all with an interest in monetary economics and history will want to have.’
– Forrest Capie, Economic History Review

‘Any scholar interested in the Currency School/Banking School debate or in the emergence of the concept of a lender of last resort will need, and want, to read this material. . . O’Brien’s blend of careful reading, historical context, representation by formal models, and cliometrics is skilful and lucid. These essays are of lasting value. . .’
– Robert W. Dimand, EH.Net

‘As O’Brien says, fashions in monetary economics move in cycles, and right now the idea that the quantity of money is an all important influence on inflation, and on much else as well, is none too popular. These always thoughtful and often original studies of the development of economists’ ideas about money and monetary policy from the late 16th to the late 19th century do much to restore intellectual balance to the latest phase of an age-old debate, and deserve to stand alongside the classic contributions of Jacob Viner and Frank Fetter.’
– David Laidler, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Contents: Preface Part I: Introduction 1. Introduction Part II: Early Monetary Debates 2. Bodin’s Analysis of Inflation 3. John Law: Money and Trade Considered 4. The Rate of Interest: Locke and His Critics Part III: 19th Century British Controversies 5. The Currency and Banking Controversy 6. Monetary Base Control 7. The Lender of Last Resort Concept Part IV: Macroeconomic Models 8. Bagehot and Stabilisation 9. Joplin’s Model: A Formal Statement 10. Stability With an Inbuilt Cycle Bibliography Index
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