NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

On the Origins of "A Monetary History"

Hugh Rockoff

NBER Working Paper No. 12666
Issued in November 2006
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy, Monetary Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

This paper explores some of the scholarship that influenced Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz's "A Monetary History". It shows that the ideas of several Chicago economists -- Henry Schultz, Henry Simons, Lloyd Mints, and Jacob Viner -- left clear marks. It argues, however, that the most important influence may have been Wesley Clair Mitchell and his classic book "Business Cycles" (1913). Mitchell, and the NBER, provided the methodology for "A Monetary History", in particular the emphasis on compiling long time series of monthly data and analyzing the effects of specific variables on the business cycle. A common methodology and the stability of monetary relationships produced similar conclusions about money. Friedman and Schwartz deemphasized Mitchell's "bank-centric" view of the monetary transmission process, but they reinforced Mitchell's conclusion that money had an independent, predictable, and important influence on the business cycle.

download in pdf format
   (233 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12666

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Bordo The Contribution of "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960" to Monetary History
Bordo w1821 Explorations in Monetary History: A Survey of the Literature
Bordo and Schwartz w9713 IS-LM and Monetarism
Bordo and Schwartz w8717 Charles Goodhart's Contributions to the History of Monetary Institutions
Taylor A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us