University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Financial History Seminar > The Invention of Monetary Policy. Divergent Paths of Monetarist Experimentation in Switzerland and the UK

The Invention of Monetary Policy. Divergent Paths of Monetarist Experimentation in Switzerland and the UK

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In the 1970s, many central banks, including the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank, embarked on experiments with monetarism in order to address the monetary crises that had erupted during this decade. But for the two mentioned central banks, the results of these experiments could not have been more different: At the end of the 1970s, the Swiss National Bank had successfully consolidated its monetary policy as “monetary targeting”, while the Bank of England was paralysed by political-ideological struggles over its alleged failure to control the money supply. My paper traces these divergent trajectories and argues that, in addition to differences in institutional context, we need to pay attention for how policy makers and observers drew lessons from immediate experiences and ongoing events, thereby establishing those path-dependencies that shaped subsequent institutional change.

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