Publications by Type: Journal Article

Friedman, Benjamin. Forthcoming. “A Century of Growth and Improvement.” American Economic Review.
Friedman, Benjamin. Forthcoming. “Work and Consumption in an Era of Unbalanced Technological Advance.” Journal of Evolutionary Economics.
Friedman, Benjamin. 2015. “A Predictable Pathology.” BIS Papers 80 (January ).
Friedman, Benjamin. 2013. “The Simple Analytics of Monetary Policy: A Post-Crisis Approach.” Journal of Economic Education 44 (October-December).
Friedman, Benjamin. 2013. “Toward a New Understanding of Monetary Policy.” Monetary Authority of Signapore, Macroeconomic Review 12 (October).
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2012. “Rules Versus Discretion at the Federal Reserve: On to the Second Century.” Journal of Macroeconomics 34 (3): 608-615. Text Abstract
Much of the experience of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, during the institution’s first hundred years, has revolved around controversies that fit squarely within the classical debate over rules versus discretion in economic policymaking. This paper looks back at the major episodes in this history since World War II, including the initial freeing of monetary policy from war-related interest-pegging, the Federal Reserve’s delayed but ultimately successful response to the inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s, the brief experiment with monetary aggregate targets, the extraordinary actions prompted by the 2007-9 financial crisis, and the current tentative exploration of inflation targeting. The paper concludes that the tension between the desire for rule-based policymaking and the practicalities that lead central bankers to preserve discretion in actual policy decisions does not admit of any easy, straightforward solution, and therefore that this tension is likely to persist into the Federal Reserve’s next century too.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2012. “Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, and the Efficiency of Our Financial System: Lessons from the Financial Crisis.” International Journal of Central Banking 8 (S1): 301-309.
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Friedman, Benjamin M. 2011. “Economics: A Moral Inquiry with Religious Origins.” American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings 101 ( 3): 166-170.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2010. “Economic Growth and the Moral Society.” Conversations 8. Text
Autumn 2010
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2010. “Is Our Financial System Serving Us Well.” Daedalus 139 (4): 9-21. Article Abstract
In 1772, at the height of Scotland's worst banking crisis in two generations, David Hume wrote to his close friend Adam Smith. After recounting the bank closures, industrial bankruptcies, spreading unemployment, and even growing "Suspicion" of the soundness of the Bank of England, Hume asked Smith, "Do these Events any-wise affect your Theory?". They certainly did. Smith's analysis of the role of banking in The Wealth of Nations, published just four years later, clearly reflected the lessons he took away from the 1772 crisis. In contrast to the doctrinaire antiregulatory ideology with which he is usually associated by today's economists, Smith favored such measures as usury laws-- specifically, no lending at interest rates above 5 percent - and restrictions on the obligations that banks could issue.
Published Fall 2010
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2010. “Reconstructing Economics in Light of the 2007-? Financial Crisis.” Journal of Economic Education 41 (4): 391-397. Article Abstract
The lessons learned from the recent financial crisis should significantly reshape the economics profession's thinking, including, importantly, what we teach our students. Five such lessons are that we live in a monetary economy and therefore aggregate demand and policies that affect aggregate demand are determinants of real economic outcomes; that what actually matters for this purpose is not money but the volume, availability, and price of credit; that the fact that most lending is done by financial institutions matters as well; that the prices set in our financial markets do not always exhibit the “rationality” economists normally claim for them; and that both frictions and the uneven impact of economic events prevent us from adapting to disturbances in the way textbook economics suggests.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2010. “Economic Origins and Aims: Is There a Role for Religious Thinking?” Reflections (Yale Divinity School). Text

Yale Divinity School

Friedman, Benjamin M. 2009. “Widening Inequality Combined with Modest Growth.” Challenge 52.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2008. “Widening Inequality Means a Democracy at Risk.” Pathways. Article
Published Summer 2008
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2008. “Why a Dual Mandate is Right for Monetary Policy.” International Finance 11.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2008. “Monetary Policy for Emerging Market Economies: Beyond Inflation Targeting.” Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies 1.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2007. “What We Still Don't Know about Monetary and Fiscal Policy.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2007. “Capitalism, Economic Growth and Democracy.” Daedalus 136.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2006. “Moral Consequences of Economic Growth: The John R. Commons Lecture, 2006.” American Economist 50.
Friedman, Benjamin M. 2006. “The Greenspan Era: Discretion, Rather Than Rules.” American Economic Review 96.