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Money in Historical Perspective

With an Introduction by Michael D. Bordo and Milton Friedman
Modern monetary economics has been significantly influenced by the knowledge and insight brought to the field by the work of Anna J. Schwartz, an economist whose career has spanned almost half a century. Her contributions evidence a broad expertise in international history and policy, and an ability to apply the results of her careful historical research to current issues and debates. Money in Historical Perspective is a collection of sixteen of her papers selected by Michael D. Bordo and Milton Friedman. Grouped into three sections, the essays constitute a number of Dr. Schwartz’s most cited articles on the subject of monetary economics, many of which are no longer readily accessible.

In the papers in part I, dating from 1947 to the present, Dr. Schwartz examines money and banking in the United States and the United Kingdom from a historical perspective. Her investigation of the historical evidence linking economic instability to erratic monetary behavior—this behavior itself a product of discretionary monetary policy—has led her to argue for the importance of stable money, and her writings on these issues over the last two decades form part II. The volume concludes with four recent articles on international monetary arrangements, including Dr. Schwartz’s well-known work on the gold standard.

This volume of classic essays by Anna Schwartz will be a useful addition to the libraries of scholars and students for its exemplary historical research and commentary on monetary systems.

460 pages | 13 line drawings | © 1987

National Bureau of Economic Research Monograph

Economics and Business: Economics--History

Table of Contents

Introduction by Michael D. Bordo and Milton Friedman 

I. Money and Banking in Historical Perspective

1. The Beginning of Competitive Banking in Philadelphia, 1782-1809 [1947]
2. Money and Business Cycles [1963]
with Milton Friedman
3. Secular Price Change in Historical Perspective [1973]
4. Understanding 1929-1933 [1981]
5. A Century of British Market Interest Rates, 1874-1975 [1981] 

II. Monetary Policy

6. Why Money Matters [1969]
7. How Feasible Is a Flexible Monetary Policy? [1975]
with Phillip Cagan
8. Has the Growth of Money Substitutes Hindered Monetary Policy? [1975]
with Phillip Cagan
9. Clark Warburton: Pioneer Monetarist [1979]
with Michael D. Bordo
10. The Importance of Stable Money: Theory and Evidence [1983]
with Michael D. Bordo
11. Real and Pseudo-Financial Crisis [1986]
12. Has Government Any Role in Money? [1986]
with Milton Friedman 

III. International Monetary Arrangements

13. Reflections on the Gold Commission Report [1982]
14. The Postwar Institutional Evolution of the International Monetary System (1983)
15. Alternative Monetary Regimes: The Gold Standard [1986]
16. Lessons of the Gold Standard Era and the Bretton Woods System for the Prospects of an International Monetary System Constitution [1986] 

Appendix: Publications of Anna J. Schwartz

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