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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1713755
 
 

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Has the Fed Been a Failure?


George Selgin


University of Georgia

William D. Lastrapes


University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics

Lawrence H. White


George Mason University - Department of Economics

December 1, 2010

Journal of Macroeconomics, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2012

Abstract:     
As the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act approaches, we assess whether the nation’s experiment with the Federal Reserve has been a success or a failure. Drawing on a wide range of recent empirical research, we find the following: (1) The Fed’s full history (1914 to present) has been characterized by more rather than fewer symptoms of monetary and macroeconomic instability than the decades leading to the Fed’s establishment. (2) While the Fed’s performance has undoubtedly improved since World War II, even its postwar performance has not clearly surpassed that of its undoubtedly flawed predecessor, the National Banking system, before World War I. (3) Some proposed alternative arrangements might plausibly do better than the Fed as presently constituted. We conclude that the need for a systematic exploration of alternatives to the established monetary system is as pressing today as it was a century ago.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 83

JEL Classification: E30, E42, E52, E58

working papers series


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Date posted: November 25, 2010 ; Last revised: March 8, 2013

Suggested Citation

Selgin, George and Lastrapes, William D. and White, Lawrence H., Has the Fed Been a Failure? (December 1, 2010). Journal of Macroeconomics, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1713755 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1713755

Contact Information

George Selgin (Contact Author)
University of Georgia ( email )
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-2734 (Phone)
William D. Lastrapes
University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )
Terry College of Business
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
706-542-3569 (Phone)
706-542-3376 (Fax)
Lawrence H. White
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
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