Dr. Yue Chim Richard Wong Professor at the University of Hong Kong has an excellent comment on Market Monetarism on his great blog. Dr. Wong is a specialist among other things on the Hong Kong property market and a well-known economics commentator in Hong Kong.
In his comment “Easy Money, Tight Money, and Market Monetarism” he explains the background for Market Monetarism and explain the key theoretical insights and policy recommendations from Market Monetarism. It is an excellent introduction to Market Monetarism – to some extent a parallel description to my own working paper on the foundation for Market Monetarism.
Dr. Wong has some interesting observations about the main Market Monetarist thinkers/bloggers:
The Market Monetarist blogger are “(a)n assorted group of economists, mostly of the free market persuasion, (who) have joined Sumner in developing and elaborating the subtle logic behind NGDP targeting and they continue to debate the new Keynesians and old Monetarists…”
Dr. Wong continues: “The amazing fact about the group is that most of the members are relatively junior in the economics profession and are concentrated in the teaching universities. For me this was an absolutely delightful finding. I have always wondered if the pressure to publish research in ever more specialized and compartmentalized fields in the major research universities is an unqualified healthy outcome for academia.”
This I think is a very interesting observation. Scott Sumner spend more than 20 years teaching without anybody in the economics profession really noticing his important research (I did!). But once he started blogging he became the main force behind the creation of a new economic school. A school I am proud to belong to – Market Monetarism.
There is no doubt that Dr. Wong is highly sympathetic to Market Monetarism and in that regard I don’t think it is a coincidence that Wong has his PhD from the University of Chicago as is the case for Scott Sumner. To me the link to the University of Chicago is key to the intellectual development of Market Monetarism. It is, however, not today’s University of Chicago, but the 1960s and 1970s when Milton Friedman still was a professor at the University. Friedman retired in 1977. The economic and monetary theory that Friedman was teaching at the University of Chicago was policy oriented and “practical”. Contrary to the focus at most universities where students spending most of their time with advanced mathematically models with little or no relevance to the real world – and if the models are relevant the students and professors alike often don’t realise it themselves and the policy conclusions are often not spread to a wider audience.
Scott Sumner, David Beckworth and the other Market Monetarist bloggers have made monetary theory accessible to policy makers, market participants, commentators and journalists. This in my view is the real achievement of Market Monetarism and I am happy to say that Dr. Wong now is helping spreading the word.
PS Dr. Wong write comments in both English and Chinese. He writes a weekly political economy column for the Hong Kong Economic Journal.