12/12/13: NEC w/Lawrence H. White, Mercatus Center, GMU

  • 12 Dec 2013
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Chinatown Garden Restaurant 618 H St NW

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Lawrence H. White

Member Financial Markets Working Group

Professor of Economics, GMU

Senior Scholar, Mercatus Center 

Senior Fellow, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics  

"An Economic and Financial Evaluation of the Federal Reserve's 100 Years of Existence" 

As the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act approaches, Dr. White and his colleagues assess whether the nation’s experiment with the Federal Reserve has been a success or a failure. Drawing on a wide range of recent empirical research, they find the following: (1) The Fed’s full history (1914 to present) has been characterized by more rather than fewer symptoms of monetary and macroeconomic instability than the decades leading to the Fed’s establishment. (2) While the Fed’s performance has undoubtedly improved since World War II, even its postwar performance has not clearly surpassed that of its undoubtedly flawed predecessor, the National Banking system, before World War I. (3) Some proposed alternative arrangements might plausibly do better than the Fed as presently constituted. They conclude that the need for a systematic exploration of alternatives to the established monetary system is as pressing today as it was a century ago.

Lawrence H. White is a professor of Economics, George Mason University.  Prior to his position at GMU, he was the F.A. Hayek Professor of Economic History in the Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St Louis (UMSL).  He has been a visiting professor at the Queen's School of Management and Economics, Queen's University of Belfast, and a visiting scholar at the federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  

Professor White is the author of  the Theory of Monetary Institutions (Blackwell, 1999), Free Banking in Britain (2nd ed., IEA, 1995) and Competition and Currency (NYU Press, 1989).  He is the editor of several works, including the History of Gold and Silver (3 vols., Pickering and Chatto, 2000), the Crisis in American Banking (NYU Press, 1993), African Finance:  Research and Reform (ICS Press, 1993), and Free Banking (3 vols., Edward Elgar, 1993).  His articles on monetary theory and banking history have appeared in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Literature, the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, and other leading professional journals. 

Dr. White earned his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles and his AB from Harvard University.


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