War, Money, & Economy: Economic Performance in the Fed and Pre-Fed Periods

35 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2015 Last revised: 8 Mar 2017

See all articles by Thomas L. Hogan

Thomas L. Hogan

Rice University - Baker Institute for Public Policy

Daniel J. Smith

Middle Tennessee State University - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: March 7, 2016

Abstract

How has the impact of wars affected our historical understanding of U.S. economic performance? While most economists believe the Federal Reserve has improved performance, the existing literature fails to account for exogenous shocks such as periods of war. This paper compares U.S. economic performance under the Fed to that in the pre-Fed period adjusting for wartime shocks. Following the existing literature, we divide the pre-Fed periods into subperiods according to major changes in the U.S. monetary system and the Fed period into subperiods according to economists’ common perceptions of Fed performance. We find that economic performance in the pre-Fed periods is mostly the same as or better than in the post-War II Fed period in terms of the rate of inflation, GDP growth, and GDP volatility.

Keywords: Federal Reserve, Inflation, GDP growth, Stability, Volatility

JEL Classification: E02, E31, E32, E42, N10

Suggested Citation

Hogan, Thomas L. and Smith, Daniel J., War, Money, & Economy: Economic Performance in the Fed and Pre-Fed Periods (March 7, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2568634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2568634

Thomas L. Hogan (Contact Author)

Rice University - Baker Institute for Public Policy ( email )

6100 Main Street, MS-40
Houston, TX 77005
United States

Daniel J. Smith

Middle Tennessee State University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

MTSU Box 27
1301 E. Main St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37132-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danieljosephsmith.com/

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