「Political Economists or Political Economists? The Role of Political Environments in the Formation of Fed Policy Under Burns, Greenspan, and Bernanke」という論文をAlexander William Salter(テキサス工科大)とDaniel J. Smith(トロイ大)が書いている(H/T Mostly Economics)。


How do political environments influence the behavior of economists who transition from academic and business environments to policymaking positions? And, more specifically, are an economist’s preexisting beliefs and principles congruent with their policy stances and actions once they transition into a policy role? These questions are particularly relevant when it comes to central banking, where academic and business economists are often selected for policy roles wielding substantial economic influence based partly on their stated monetary principles and beliefs. To address these questions, we analyze the writings and speeches of three economists, Arthur Burns, Alan Greenspan, and Benjamin Bernanke, as they transitioned to becoming chairman of the Fed. The tension between their previously stated views and their subsequent policy stances as chairman of the Fed, suggest that operation within political institutions impelled them to alter their views. Our findings offer additional support for incorporating the concerns of political economy into monetary models and structures.


学界や経済界から政策担当者のポジションに移る経済学者の行動に、政治環境はどのように影響するだろうか? もっと具体的に言えば、経済学者の従来の考えや原則は、政策に携わるようになった後のスタンスや行動と一致しているだろうか? こうした疑問は、学界や経済界経済学者が、自らが表明した金融に関する原則や考えに一部基づいて大きな経済的影響をもたらす政策担当者に選ばれることが多い中央銀行業務については特に重要である。この疑問の回答を求めて、我々はアーサー・バーンズ、アラン・グリーンスパンベンジャミンバーナンキの3人の経済学者FRB議長になる過程の著述と講演を分析した。従来表明していた見解と、その後のFRB議長としての政策スタンスとの間の緊張は、政治制度内での業務の遂行によって、彼らが見解を変えざるを得なくなったことを示している。我々の発見は、政治経済における関心事を金融のモデルや枠組みに取り込むことを支持するさらなる材料を提供している。


Prior to serving as Fed chairman, each favored a degree of monetary restraint, acknowledging the past errors of the Fed and recognizing the mutual impingement of monetary and fiscal phenomena. But during their tenure at the Fed, these economists’ views switch to promoting monetary activism. Furthermore, they exhibit a tendency to attribute beneficial economic consequences following their monetary policies to these policies, while they simultaneously blame circumstances beyond the Fed’s control for policy failures. These heads-I-win-tails-you-lose viewpoints may or may not be accurate, and may or may not be good for the economy. But we can be certain they are good for central bankers qua central bankers, and as such we ought to regard them with skepticism.

An alternative hypothesis to ours, is that Burns, Greenspan, and Bernanke were simply demonstrating a willingness to adapt and learn while in office. While examining their expressed views following their tenure at the Fed can help us analyze this alternative hypothesis, it is difficult to fully reject this alternative hypothesis outright since the bias of human behavior would lead them to continue to justify their actions as chairman. For instance, Bernanke’s insistence that he was following Bagehot’s rules for a lender of last resort, despite the strong evidence to the contrary, demonstrates this tendency (Hogan, Le, and Salter 2015).

By advancing our understanding of how political institutions can influence the behavior of economists operating as central bankers, our analysis offered additional support to the growing literature making the case for incorporating the concerns of political economy into monetary structures and policy prescriptions. Central banking is an inherently political activity, formal statements regarding “central bank independence” notwithstanding. Until monetary economics scholarship introduces political economy considerations not as a special case, but as a matter of routine or convention, permanent improvement in our understanding of what actually determines the stance of monetary policy are certain to be lacking.






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