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July/August 1988, 
Vol. 70, No. 4
Posted 1988-07-01

Monetarism is Dead; Long Live the Quantity Theory

by William G. Dewald

William G. Dewald distinguishes between simplistic monetarism, which he believes “was widely interpreted as providing an alternative to short-run Keynesian model forecasts” and “the Quantity Theory, whose focus is on the long run.” After an analysis of long-run relationships and short-run forecasts, Dewald concludes that we simply don’t know enough about the magnitude and timing of monetary effects to fine-tune the economy effectively in the short run with monetary policy actions; consequently, he believes that “monetarism as a short-run forecasting method should be buried.” He recommends that Federal Reserve policy procedure should focus on the long-run relationship between money growth and nominal GNP growth, as emphasized by the Quantity Theory of Money, to constrain future inflation. Dewald suggests that having the Federal Reserve “target a noninflationary nominal GNP growth path for the five-year federal budget cycle would be a step in the right direction.”