Milton Friedman

One of the most highly influential economists, political commentators and essayists of the century, Milton Friedman is one of the best known economists. An ardent opponent of the Keynesian economics, Friedman led the ‘Monetarist’ incarnation of the Chicago School against the Keynesian orthodoxy in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Milton Friedman’s early contributions include the ‘Permanent Income Hypothesis’ in consumption (1957), his formulation of risk-aversion and risk-proclivity (1948, with L.J. Savage), his use of evolutionary theory in the theory of the firm, and his propositions for a ‘positivist’ methodology in economics (1953).

Friedman’s important criticisms of Keynesian theory began with his attack on the IS-LM dichotomy in his ‘restatement’ of the Quantity Theory in 1956 – effectively, reminding Keynesians that ‘money matters’. This was followed up by a massive historical study with Anna J. Schwartz on the Monetary History of the United States (1963) – leading to a famous debate on money-income causality. In his famous presidential address to the American Economic Association, Friedman (1968) then focused his attention upon the apparent breakdown of the Phillips Curve relationship in the 1970s, proposing to replace it with a Natural Rate of Unemployment (NARU) – a concept later formalized in more detail by the New Classicals.

Friedman wrote much on various aspects of economic policy. In general, he argued that government discretionary fine-tuning of the economy, as had been proposed by Keynesians, ought to be replaced with iron “rules” of policy – notably his famous ‘money supply growth’ rule. He also wrote several popular volumes advocating laissez-faire policies more generally.

Milton Friedman won the Nobel Memorial prize in 1976.

Major Works of Milton Friedman

– Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk, with L. Savage, 1948, JPE
– A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability, 1948, AER
– Some Comments on the Significance of Labor Unions for Economic Policy, 1951, in D. McC. Wright, editor, The Impact of the Union. New York: Harcourt Brace
– Commodity-Reserve Currency, 1951, JPE
– The Expected-Utility Hypothesis and the Measurability of Utility, with L. Savage, 1952, JPE
– The Methodology of Positive Economics, in Friedman, 1953
– Essays in Positive Economics, 1953
– The Quantity Theory of Money: A restatement”, 1956, in Friedman, editor, Studies in Quantity Theory
– A Theory of the Consumption Function, 1957
– The Supply of Money and Changes in Prices and Output, 1958, in Relationship of Prices to Economic Stability and Growth
– A Program for Monetary Stability, 1959
– The Demand for Money: Some theoretical and empirical results, 1959, JPE
– The Lag in Effect of Monetary Policy, 1961, JPE
– Capitalism and Freedom, 1962
– Should There be an Independent Monetary Authority?, in L.B. Yeager, editor, In Search of a Monetary Constitution
– Inflation: Causes and consequences, 1963
– A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, with Anna J. Schwartz, 1963
– Money and Business Cycles” with A.J. Schwartz, 1963, REStat
– The Relative Stability of Monetary Velocity and the Investment Multiplier in the United States, 1898-1958, with D. Meiselman, 1963, in Stabilization Policies
– A Reply to Donald Hester”, with D. Meiselman, 1964, REStat
– Interest Rates and the Demand for Money, 1966, JLawE
– What Price Guideposts?”, in G.P. Schultz, R.Z. Aliber, editors, Guidelines
– The Role of Monetary Policy: Presidential Address to AEA, 1968, AER
– Money: the Quantity Theory, 1968, IESS
– The Definition of Money, with Anna J. Schwartz, 1969
– The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays, 1969
– Comment on Tobin, 1970, QJE
– Monetary Statistics of the United States: Sources, methods. with Anna J. Schwartz, 1970
– A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis, 1970, JPE
– The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory, 1970
– A Monetary Theory of National Income, 1971, JPE
– Comments on the Critics, 1974, in Gordon, Milton Friedman and his Critics
– Monetary Correction: A proposal for escalation clauses to reduce the cost of ending inflation, 1974
-Comments on Tobin and Buiter, 1976, in J. Stein, editor, Monetarism
– Inflation and Unemployment: Nobel lecture, 1977, JPE
– Free to Choose: A personal statement, with Rose Friedman, 1980
– Interrelations between the United States and the United Kingdom, 1873-1975, with A.J. Schwartz,, 1982, J Int Money and Finance
– Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom: Their relations to income, prices and interest rates, 1876-1975, with Anna J. Schwartz, 1982
– Monetary Policy: Tactics versus strategy, 1984, in Moore, editor, To Promote Prosperity
– The Case for Overhauling the Federal Reserve, 1985, Challenge
– Has Government Any Role in Money?, with Anna J. Schwartz, 1986, JME
– Quantity Theory of Money, in J. Eatwell, M. Milgate, P. Newman, editors, The New Palgrave
– The Case for Free Trade, with Rose Friedman, 1997, Hoover Digest
– George J. Stigler, 1911-1991: Biographical Memoir, 1998, at NAS
– Two Lucky People, with Rose Friedman

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