Reflections on Allan H. Meltzer’s Contributions to Monetary Economics and Public Policy

Reflections on Allan H. Meltzer’s Contributions to Monetary Economics and Public Policy

Edited by: David Beckworth
ISBN: 978-0-8179-2305-1
Publication Date: 10/1/2019

A champion of capitalism and shaper of public policy remembered

Allan H. Meltzer (1928–2017) was one of the most influential macroeconomists of the twentieth century. Specializing in monetary policy, Meltzer helped to create modern central banking and examined how monetary authorities help the economy succeed—or fail, as it did in the 1930s, 1970s, and late 2000s. He saw that good economic theory is important for the avoidance of economic disasters and that a good political environment matters, too. That is why Meltzer championed the importance of rules-based monetary policy and free markets.

Meltzer wrote more than ten books and four hundred articles, including the landmark A History of the Federal Reserve. He also was active in policy, serving as a consultant for several congressional committees, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, the US Treasury Department, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, foreign governments, and various central banks.

This collection of eleven essays, written by prominent economists, remembers Meltzer the man and the scholar, reexamining his legacy and his many contributions to monetary economics and public policy. Concluding the book is an interview with Meltzer from November 2016, a few months before he died.

Contributors: Michael Bordo, James Bullard, Joshua R. Hendrickson, Robert Hetzel, Peter N. Ireland, Robert Lucas, Edward Nelson, Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr., Charles Plosser, George Selgin, and John B. Taylor.

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David Beckworth

David Beckworth is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a former international economist at the US Department of the Treasury. A widely published author on monetary policy, he hosts the podcast Macro Musings.

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About Allan H. Meltzer

David Beckworth

Chapter 1: Making the Rules and Breaking the Mold: Allan Meltzer, 1928–2017
John Taylor

Chapter 2: Allan Meltzer and the History of the Federal Reserve
Michael D. Bordo

Chapter 3: Allan Meltzer: How He Underestimated His Own Contribution to the Modern Concept of a Central Bank
Robert L. Hetzel

Chapter 4: “They Profess to Fear That for Which They Dare Not Hope”: How the Fed Contributed to the Great Depression and the Great Recession by Boosting Banks’ Demand for Reserves
George Selgin

Chapter 5: Allan Meltzer’s Model of the Transmission Mechanism and Its Implications for Today
Peter N. Ireland

Chapter 6: The Monetary Base in Allan Meltzer’s Analytical Framework
Edward Nelson

Chapter 7: Monetary Policy and the Interest Rate: Reflections on Allan Meltzer’s Contributions to Monetary Economics
Joshua R. Hendrickson

Chapter 8: Allan Meltzer and the Search for a Nominal Anchor
James Bullard

Chapter 9: The Meltzer Commission
Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr.

Chapter 10: Memories of Allan H. Meltzer
Robert Lucas

Chapter 11: Allan Meltzer’s Contributions to Public Policy Thought as Applied to the Federal Reserve
Charles Plosser

Chapter 12: Macro Musings: Allan Meltzer
Allan Meltzer and David Beckworth

Collected Works: A Bibliography
About the Contributors

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