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The Contested Terrain of Central Banking: Ideas, Interests and the Bank of Canada’s Inflation-Rate Reduction Policies, 1975-1991


The Contested Terrain of Central Banking: Ideas, Interests and the Bank of Canada’s Inflation-Rate Reduction Policies, 1975-1991

Brett, Matthew (2012) The Contested Terrain of Central Banking: Ideas, Interests and the Bank of Canada’s Inflation-Rate Reduction Policies, 1975-1991. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Monetary policy in Canada underwent significant changes between 1975 and 1991 as the central bank shifted from fostering full employment to aggressively reducing and controlling inflation. Existing studies of this period largely adopt either monetarist or constructivist frameworks of analysis. Both of these approaches do not sufficiently account for the class-based dynamics of monetary policy. Adopting Epstein’s view that central banks are contested terrains in which conflicting interests compete for profit and power over the marcroeconomy (2001), this paper examines the class-based dimensions of monetary policy change. The framework developed in this study accounts for both systemic factors of capital accumulation and class dynamics that influence monetary policy. Three distinct yet overlapping periods are analysed: the monetarist period (1975-82); the Volcker Shock period (1977-84); and the Crow Doctrine period (1988-91). Each of these periods had a distinct configuration of class forces, and these shifting configurations influenced the monetary ideas and policies that prevailed during a given time. Organized labour was significantly weakened during the monetarist and Volcker periods, while finance capital grew in power and influence over the macroeconomy into the 1990s.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Brett, Matthew
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Public Policy and Public Administration
Date:July 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Salée, Daniel and Scala, Francesca
Keywords:monetary policy, monetarism, inflation, interest rates, Bank of Canada, Marx, constructivism
ID Code:974580
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 15:29
Last Modified:28 Jul 2015 20:11
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