Other Names:
Faulty belief in money control of markets

Monetarism is a school of thought in monetary economics that emphasizes the role of policy-makers in controlling the amount of money in circulation. It gained prominence in the 1970s, but was mostly abandoned as a practical guidance to monetary policy during the following decade because the strategy was found to not work very well in practice.: 483–484  Instead, inflation targeting through movements of the official interest rate became the dominant monetary policy strategy.

The monetarist theory states that variations in the money supply have major influences on national output in the short run and on price levels over longer periods. Monetarists assert that the objectives of monetary policy are best met by targeting the growth rate of the money supply rather than by engaging in discretionary monetary policy. Monetarism is commonly associated with neoliberalism.

Monetarism is mainly associated with the work of Milton Friedman, who was an influential opponent of Keynesian economics, criticising Keynes's theory of fighting economic downturns using fiscal policy (government spending). Friedman and Anna Schwartz wrote an influential book, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, and argued "that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon".

Though Friedman opposed the existence of the Federal Reserve, he advocated, given its existence, a central bank policy aimed at keeping the growth of the money supply at a rate commensurate with the growth in productivity and demand for goods. Money growth targeting was mostly abandoned by the central banks who tried it, however. Contrary to monetarist thinking, the relation between money growth and inflation proved to be far from tight. Instead, starting in the early 1990s, most major central banks turned to direct inflation targeting, relying on steering short-run interest rates as their main policy instrument.: 483–485  Afterwards, monetarism was subsumed into the new neoclassical synthesis which appeared in macroeconomics around 2000.

Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST