Table of Contents

The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition

The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition

Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

Social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key roles social values play in the economy and economic life. This second edition of the Elgar Companion to Social Economics revises all chapters from the first edition, and adds important new chapters to reflect the expansion and development of social economics. The expert contributions explain a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics in the field, mapping out possible directions of future social economic research. Social economics treats the economy and economics as embedded in a web of social and ethical relationships. It considers economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom, and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. This book will be a leading resource and guide to social economics for many years to come.

Chapter 30: Monetary policy

Sheila C. Dow

Subjects: business and management, business ethics and trust, economics and finance, institutional economics, methodology of economics, public sector economics, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


Monetary policy has gone through significant changes in the wake of the banking crisis that began in 2007, reverting to a more traditional form. Before the crisis, mainstream theory and the practice of monetary policy had been identified as converging on a ‘new consensus’, focused on the role of the interest rate in a neutral-money framework, with an independent central bank prioritizing the control of inflation. There were dissenting voices, notably post-Keynesians anticipating the crisis, focusing on the non-neutrality of money and considering a wider range of monetary policy instruments. The crisis itself forced central banks to consider a wider range of policy goals and to employ a wider range of instruments. Nevertheless a difference persists between the mainstream theoretical approach, which sees monetary policy being transmitted through its impact on expectations in asset markets and asset pricing, and the post-Keynesian approach, which focuses on the transmission through real social experience. We explore current issues for monetary policy in terms of goals and instruments, and the relationship between central banks and government. The chapter concludes by outlining unresolved issues for the future.

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