PS: Political Science and Politics (a news and commentary journal that is a companion to American Political Science Review) has a new symposium issue available in firstview on the politics of the Federal Reserve. The symposium is titled “American Oligarchy? The Concealed Politics of the Federal Reserve Bank” and there are six articles to which I’ll hyperlink below. First, a few comments:
- Economists, which have otherwise not focused much on specific bureaucracy and political organizations, by contrast have thrown a lot of heavy hitters at the political independence (or lack thereof) of the Federal Reserve System. Not just in public choice or Austrian economics, but in macroeconomics and game theory. Generally speaking, this is math heavy theoretical models on things like time consistency problems and how to beat expectations of strategic actors.
- Political science and public administration have been much more expansive on the subject of political bureaucracies, particularly ones that contain technocratic experts. The theory is rich and they subsequently invest in lexicon rather than using math to clarify meaning (a generalization). The Federal Reserve has, however, not been a very common target of their interest.
- Therefore, one way in which a interdisciplinary vocabulary could be developed would be to read this symposium and the recent political science scholarship, as well as classics in economics on the subject of Fed independence. This being a political science symposium there are some blind spots in the overview of the coverage of economics and political economics on the Fed, but you nevertheless would undoubtedly gain a usable vocabulary of how to relate ideas across the two disciplines. Also, there are probably intellectual gains from trade in both directions.
Symposium” American Oligarchy? The Concealed Politics of the Federal Reserve Bank
“Clarifying How the Fed is Political” By Rick Valelly
“The Fed, Finance, and Inequality in Comparative Perspective” By Jonas Pontusson
“The Fed’s Political Economy” By Lawrence R. Jacobs and Desmond King
“The Missing Politics of Central Banks” By Christopher Adolph
“The Study of the Federal Reserve and Power in American Politics” By Alexander Hertel-Fernandez
“Why Study Monetary Politics?” By Sarah Binder and Mark Spindel