Interest and Prices: Foundations of a Theory of Monetary Policy

Princeton University Press
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With the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, any pretense of a connection of the world's currencies to any real commodity has been abandoned. Yet since the 1980s, most central banks have abandoned money-growth targets as practical guidelines for monetary policy as well. How then can pure "fiat" currencies be managed so as to create confidence in the stability of national units of account?

Interest and Prices seeks to provide theoretical foundations for a rule-based approach to monetary policy suitable for a world of instant communications and ever more efficient financial markets. In such a world, effective monetary policy requires that central banks construct a conscious and articulate account of what they are doing. Michael Woodford reexamines the foundations of monetary economics, and shows how interest-rate policy can be used to achieve an inflation target in the absence of either commodity backing or control of a monetary aggregate.


The book further shows how the tools of modern macroeconomic theory can be used to design an optimal inflation-targeting regime--one that balances stabilization goals with the pursuit of price stability in a way that is grounded in an explicit welfare analysis, and that takes account of the "New Classical" critique of traditional policy evaluation exercises. It thus argues that rule-based policymaking need not mean adherence to a rigid framework unrelated to stabilization objectives for the sake of credibility, while at the same time showing the advantages of rule-based over purely discretionary policymaking.

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About the author

Michael Woodford is the Harold H. Helm '20 Professor of Economics and Banking at Princeton University. He is the coeditor, with John B. Taylor, of The Handbook of Macroeconomics.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 12, 2011
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Pages
808
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ISBN
9781400830169
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / Economics
Business & Economics / International / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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“It was no comfort to know that I was making history, for the forced removal of a company president is almost unheard of in Japan. I rose quietly, left the room, and holding my head high, walked back to my office. My main goal was to escape as quickly as pos­sible. The board had seemed scared—why else would they have acted the way they did. But just what were they scared of?”

When Michael Woodford was made president of Olympus—the company to which he had dedi­cated thirty years of his career—he became the first Westerner ever to climb the ranks of one of Japan’s corporate giants. Some wondered at the appointment—how could a gaijin who didn’t even speak Japanese understand how to run a Japanese company? But within months Wood­ford had gained the confidence of most of his colleagues and shareholders. Unfortunately, soon after, his dream job turned into a nightmare.

The trouble began when Woodford learned about a series of bizarre mergers and aquisi­tions deals totaling $1.7 billion—a scandal that threatened to bring down the entire company if exposed. He turned to his fellow executives— including the chairman who had promoted him Tsuyoshi Kikukawa—for answers. But instead of being heralded as a hero for trying to save the company, Woodford was met with vague responses and hostility—a clear sign of a cover up. Undeterred, he demanded to be made CEO so he could have more leverage with his board and continue to search for the truth. Then, just weeks after being granted the top title, he was fired in a boardroom coup that shocked Japan and the business world at large. Worried his for­mer bosses might try to silence him, Woodford immediately fled the country in fear of his life and went straight to the press—making him the first CEO of a global multinational to blow the whistle on his own company.

Following his dismissal, Woodford faced months of agonizing pressure that at times threatened his health and his family life. But instead of suc­cumbing he persisted, and eventually the men who had ousted him were held to account. Now, Woodford recounts his almost unbelievable true story—from the e-mail that first alerted him to the scandal, to the terrifying rumors of involve­ment with the Japanese mafia, to the stream of fruitless denials that continued to emanate from Olympus in an effort to cover up the scandal. He also paints a devastating portrait of corporate Japan—an insular, hierarchy-driven culture that prefers maintaining the status quo to exposing ugly truths.

The result is a deeply personal memoir that reads like a thriller narrative. As Woodford puts it, “I thought I was going to run a health-care and consumer electronics company, but found I had walked into a John Grisham novel.”

Trade is a cornerstone concept in economics worldwide. This updated second edition of the essential graduate textbook in international trade brings readers to the forefront of knowledge in the field and prepares students to undertake their own research. In Advanced International Trade, Robert Feenstra integrates the most current theoretical approaches with empirical evidence, and these materials are supplemented in each chapter by theoretical and empirical exercises.

Feenstra explores a wealth of material, such as the Ricardian and Heckscher-Ohlin models, extensions to many goods and factors, and the role of tariffs, quotas, and other trade policies. He examines imperfect competition, offshoring, political economy, multinationals, endogenous growth, the gravity equation, and the organization of the firm in international trade. Feenstra also includes a new chapter on monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms, with many applications of that model. In addition to known results, the book looks at some particularly important unpublished results by various authors. Two appendices draw on index numbers and discrete choice models to describe methods applicable to research problems in international trade.

Completely revised with the latest developments and brand-new materials, Advanced International Trade is a classic textbook that will be used widely by students and practitioners of economics for a long time to come.
Updated second edition of the essential graduate textbookCurrent approaches and a new chapter on monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firmsSupplementary materials in each chapterTheoretical and empirical exercisesTwo appendices describe methods for international trade research

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