EconTalk is a weekly podcast in which Prof. Russ Roberts of George Mason University interviews various economists on a myriad of issues. A couple of weeks ago, he had Prof. Tyler Cowen also from GMU, and the co-author of Marginal Revolution – one of the more popular blogs of the econo-blogosphere. They were talking about the same thing we’re talking about in class: Monetary Policy.
The perma-link to the podcast is:
For this assignment, I want you to listen to the podcast. Specifically, at around 44:15 or so, the conversation turns to the gold standard.
Because the currency value is not kept up with a regimented amount of gold, some argue that the whole thing is a house of cards. No backing. … Gold standard argument: some psychological. Some believe price level will be more stable and there would be fewer business cycles because the supply of gold is pretty stable. Slower to mine it than to print paper money. But look at the price of gold–it’s very volatile. On a gold standard, the price level would thus be volatile.
Listen to the entire conversation on the gold standard (not just the above excerpt). After that, write fifty words or so as a comment on this post, about what you think would be advantages and disadvantages of adopting a gold standard.
The link above will take you to the podcast, a transcript of the highlights and some interesting links. Feel free to research as many websites and articles as you want. This exercise is as much about getting you to think about the gold standard, as it is about motivating you to learn about it on your own.
Update A few details on this assignment:
- It’s worth two points because it’s outside of your curriculum.
- It’s due on Friday, April 18th (midnight-ish) Tuesday, April 22nd before class.