Subscribe to Monetary policy framework
Monetary policy framework

  • December 22, 2005

    70 Years of Central Banking: The Bank of Canada in an International Context, 1935–2005

    Bordo and Redish examine the evolution of central banking over the past 70 years and identify periods where Canada was either a notable innovator with regard to central banking practices or appeared to be following a slightly different course. They note that global forces seemed to play an important role in determining inflation outcomes throughout the 70-year period, and that Canada and the United States experienced roughly similar inflation rates despite some important differences in their monetary policy regimes. Canada, for example, was comparatively late in establishing a central bank, launching the Bank of Canada long after most other industrial countries had one. Canada also operated under a flexible exchange rate through much of the Bretton Woods period, unlike any other country in the 1950s and early 1960s; adopted inflation targets well before most other central banks; and introduced a number of other innovative changes with regard to the implementation of monetary policy in the 1990s.
  • December 18, 2005

    Free Banking and the Bank of Canada

    Economists in the nineteenth century spent considerable time discussing the merits of a free-banking system, in which each commercial bank would be able to issue its own notes and deposits, subject to a convertibility requirement backed by its own gold reserves. Such a system, the proponents argued, would be able to deliver price-level stability yet be flexible enough to withstand the vicissitudes of the business cycle. Moreover, there would be no need for central banks. While this idea has received less attention in recent years, some economists still put it forward as a practical alternative to the current system. Laidler suggests that the centralizing tendencies in banking would inevitably undermine competition within a free-banking system, and lead to the natural emergence of one dominant bank. Other developments in the twentieth century, most notably the demise of the gold standard and widespread agreement that governments should play a determining role in setting monetary policy goals, have also limited the practicality of such a system. Laidler examines the Bank of Canada's history from the free-banking perspective and concludes that the current system of inflation targeting provides a much better anchor for orderly price-level behaviour than the free-banking system's convertibility could ever guarantee.
  • The 1975–78 Anti-Inflation Program in Retrospect

    Staff Working Paper 2005-43 John Sargent
    The author provides an overview of the 1975–78 Anti-Inflation Program (AIP), in a background document prepared for a seminar organized by the Bank of Canada to mark the AIP's 30th anniversary.
  • April 22, 2005

    Borders, Common Currencies, Trade, and Welfare: What Can We Learn from the Evidence?

    Recent evidence indicates that the intensity of economic exchange within and across borders is significantly different: linkages are much tighter within, than among, nation-states. These findings, however, do not necessarily imply that borders and separate national currencies represent significant barriers to trade that should be removed, since the evidence is also consistent with the alternative hypothesis, that domestic exchange is more efficient because domestic producers are better able to satisfy the requirements of local consumers, owing to common tastes and institutions and the existence of local information and social networks. Focusing primarily on trade linkages within and between Canada and the United States, the authors review the evidence on the extent to which national borders lessen the intensity of international economic linkages, primarily trade in goods and services, and the effects on domestic welfare. They also examine the evidence on the impact of common currencies on trade and welfare. They determine that, since the empirical models employed to date in this research cannot distinguish between alternative explanations of the evidence, it is not yet possible to draw firm conclusions for policy-making.
Go To Page