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The costs and benefits of Central banking : Modern monetary economics along a methodological dividing line

Abstract : The evaluation of the costs and benefits of central banking is to a considerable degree dependent on the analytical approach pursued.Instrumentalist-positivist approaches, as discussed in the first part of the thesis, emphasize the importance of empirical-quantitativepredictions for the development of economic models. Within this line of research, there exists a strong emphasis on those consequences of central banking that have an immediate and readily measurable empirical counterpart in the observed economic environment.Hence, the beneficial short-term effects of expansionary monetary policy in terms of increased economic activity are studied in detail and are well understood by proponents of these approaches. Internal counterarguments are based on acknowledged ignorance about potentially destabilizing side-effects. The costs of central banking are essentially seen as welfare losses from decreasedeconomic activity or excessive price inflation as results of deviations from an optimal monetary policy path. The causal- realist approach, as studied in the second part, assigns a narrower role to quantitative-empirical tools of analysis. This line of research allows for a fruitful extension of the cost-benefit analysis to more abstract notions such as systemic risk and moral hazard that can be analyzed qualitatively. It is argued that modern central banking is a contributing factor to both. Moreover, business cycles and wealth redistribution from bottom to top as important effects of credit expansion are analyzed. An alternative explanation of stagflation based on the process of political interventionism in response to unintended consequences of monetary policy is proposed.
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Karl-Friedrich Israel. The costs and benefits of Central banking : Modern monetary economics along a methodological dividing line. Economics and Finance. Université d'Angers, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017ANGE0036⟩. ⟨tel-01785129⟩

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