The Origins of Friedman and Schwartz, *A Monetary History*

This paper explores some of the scholarship that influenced Milton
Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz’s "A Monetary History".  It shows that the
ideas of several Chicago economists — Henry Schultz, Henry Simons,
Lloyd Mints, and Jacob Viner — left clear marks.  It argues, however,
that the most important influence may have been Wesley Clair Mitchell
and his classic book "Business Cycles" (1913).  Mitchell, and the NBER,
provided the methodology for "A Monetary History", in particular the
emphasis on compiling long time series of monthly data and analyzing
the effects of specific variables on the business cycle.  A common
methodology and the stability of monetary relationships produced
similar conclusions about money.  Friedman and Schwartz deemphasized
Mitchell’s "bank-centric" view of the monetary transmission process,
but they reinforced Mitchell’s conclusion that money had an
independent, predictable, and important influence on the business cycle.

Here is the link, here is a non-gated version.


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