terça-feira, 20 de março de 2012

Ainda Keynes versus Friedman, via Krugman.

Em 2007 Krugman escreveu no NY Book Review um dos textos mais polémicos sobre Fridman e os monetaristas; "Who was Milton Friedman?", a que acrescentou em 2009 uma outra contribuição,  no NYTimes: "How did economists get it so wrong?". Ambos os textos provocaram acesa polémica. John Cochrane, economista da Universidade de Chicago respondeu-lhe com um polémico "How did Paul Krugman get it so wrong?" (2009). Krugman voltou à carga em "Mr. Keynes and the moderns" (2011), a propósito do 75º aniversário da publicação da Teoria Geral ..., por Keyynes. O recente "texto de Lisboa", "Economics in the crisis", por Krugman (assinalado em post anterior) é uma continuidade desta polémica, que tem tido sempre por trás a questão do keynesianismo versus não (ou anti) keynesianismo / monetarismo e outros .
No seu blog no NYT, Krugman discutia recentemente Friedman, remetendo o monetarismo para um caso especial de keynesianismo:
  • The truth, although nobody on the right will ever admit it, is that Friedman was basically a Keynesian — or, if you like, a Hicksian. His framework was just IS-LM coupled with an assertion that the LM curve was close enough to vertical — and money demand sufficiently stable — that steady growth in the money supply would do the job of economic stabilization. These were empirical propositions, not basic differences in analysis; and if they turn out to be wrong (as they have), monetarism dissolves back into Keynesianism.
  • It’s worth pointing out, by the way, that this time the Fed did all that Friedman denounced it for not doing in the 1930s. The fact that this wasn’t enough amounts to a refutation of Friedman’s claim that adequate Fed action could have prevented the Depression
David Glassner, no blog UneasyMoney, comenta esta análise de Friedman: "Was Milton Fridman a closet keynesian?".
  • But Krugman is not totally right either.  Although Friedman obviously liked the idea that the LM-curve was vertical, and liked the idea that money demand is very stable even more, those ideas were not essential to his theoretical position.
  • What really mattered was the idea that, in the long run, money is neutral and the long-run Phillips Curve is vertical.  Given those assumptions, Friedman could argue that ensuring reasonable monetary stability would lead to better economic performance than discretionary monetary or fiscal policy.  But Friedman, as far as I know, never actually considered the possibility of a negative equilibrium real interest rate.  That’s why, when we look for guidance from Friedman about the current situation, we can’t be completely sure what he would have said.

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