Monetary Policy: What works?

Monetary policy by the Federal Reserve is important for the US economy. However, economists disagree about several aspects of Federal Reserve decision-making powers including the composition of the Federal Reserve committees, Federal Reserve goals, and the actual impact Federal Reserve of policy on the economy. 

  • Should the Federal Reserve Board focus exclusively on the problem of inflation?
  • What other goals are appropriate for Federal Reserve policy?
  • What is the appropriate goal for the inflation rate?
  • How should the Federal Reserve Board use its policy to achieve its goals?
  • How effective is Federal Reserve monetary policy in achieving its goals?
  • Is the composition of the decision-making bodies of the Federal Reserve 

           appropriate for a democracy?

In a 4-6 page paper answer the questions asked above. 


For information from the Federal Reserve Board itself, go to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System at

The Board of Governors site contains the Fed’s Beige Book, Congressional testimony and speeches of Federal Reserve Board members, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) information, press releases, current interest rate information, and general information about the Federal Reserve System. A PDF-format version of The Federal Reserve System: Purposes and Functions, a thorough overview of the Federal Reserve System, is available by chapter or as a single document. 

In addition, the site contains a summary of Federal Reserve regulations. Particularly useful is the publication, “Purposes and Functions of the Federal Reserve System” at and, “Monetary Policy: An Introduction” 

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