Monday, September 4, 2017

The Debate Continues: Did Friedman and Schwartz Really Fudge Their Data?

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, a member of the faculty at San Jose State University, emails a link to his discussion on the topic.

The short version:
Since its publication in 1963, Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz’s A Monetary History of the United States has stood as a monumental scholarly accomplishment. Even critics of Friedman’s Monetarism have admired the work’s meticulous historical research, particularly its reconstruction of a data series on several measures of the U.S. money stock going back to 1867. Almost all subsequent researchers have accepted and employed Friedman and Schwartz’s numbers.
Recently, however, some have implied that Friedman and Schwartz fudged their data or cooked their numbers....
These charges are very serious, but on close examination they turn out to be based entirely on misrepresentations or misunderstandings of some relatively minor and arcane criticisms of Friedman and Schwartz’s analysis of the velocity of money that they published in a volume that appeared in 1982, nearly two decades after their Monetary History came out. These criticisms, whether valid or not, do not challenge the accuracy of the numbers in the Monetary History but in fact rely on those very numbers.
Here is his full paper: Did Friedman and Schwartz Fudge Their Data? Not So Fast…


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