Monetarism is a school of economic thought concerning the determination of national income and monetary economics. It focuses on the supply of money in an economy as the primary means by which the rate of inflation is determined.
Monetarism today is mainly associated with the work of Milton Friedman, who was among the generation of economists to accept Keynesian economics and then criticize it on its own terms. Friedman and Anna Schwartz wrote an influential book, Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960, and argued that "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." Friedman advocated a central bank policy aimed at keeping the supply and demand for money at equilibrium, as measured by growth in productivity and demand. The monetarist argument that the demand for money is a stable function gained considerable support during the late 1960s and 1970s from the work of David Laidler. The former head of the United States Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, is generally regarded as monetarist in his policy orientation. The European Central Bank officially bases its monetary policy on money supply targets.
Critics of monetarism include both neo-Keynesians who argue that demand for money is intrinsic to supply, and some conservative economists who argue that demand for money cannot be predicted. Joseph Stiglitz has argued that the relationship between inflation and money supply growth is weak when inflation is low.Contents
What is monetarism?
Monetarism is an economic theory which focuses on the macroeconomic effects of the supply of money and central banking. Formulated by Milton Friedman, it argues that excessive expansion of the money supply is inherently inflationary, and that monetary authorities should focus solely on maintaining price stability.
This theory draws its roots from two almost diametrically opposed ideas: the hard money policies that dominated monetary thinking in the late 19th century, and the monetary theories of John...