November 8, 2018 Reading Time: 2 minutes

The fifth issue of the AIER Sound Money Project Working Paper Series is available online. AIER is currently ranked 152nd on SSRN’s Top 1,600 Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network Organizations.

Issue 5

Interest Rates, Policy Uncertainty, and Investment
Joshua R. Hendrickson, University of Mississippi and American Institute for Economic Research

In this paper, I estimate a cointegrated VAR with three long run equilibrium conditions that are consistent with the New Keynesian model. The equilibrium conditions estimated in the VAR do not provide evidence of a negative relationship between the federal funds rate and investment, or output more generally. Economic policy uncertainty, however, does have a negative and statistically significant effect on investment in the estimated model. I argue that the results support an option theory view of investment rather than the standard New Keynesian model. Also, various specifications of the model demonstrate that the findings are robust to an alternative short term nominal interest rate, the use of real interest rates rather than nominal interest rates, different classifications of investment, different measures of economic uncertainty, and a different specification of the monetary policy process. In addition, I argue that the results have implications for the weak recovery in the aftermath of the Great Recession. In particular, the results suggest that the increase in economic policy uncertainty observed after 2007 can potentially explain the weak recovery whereas the results cast doubt on the significance of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates.

A Theory of Self-Enforcing Monetary Constitutions With Reference to the Suffolk System, 1825–1858
Alexander William Salter, Texas Tech University and American Institute for Economic Research
Andrew T. Young, Texas Tech University

We develop a theory of self-enforcing monetary constitutions. A monetary constitution is the framework of rules within which money-providing and money-using agents interact. A self-enforcing monetary constitutions is upheld by the agents acting within the system; it thus does not require external enforcement. We describe how the institutional technology of polycentric sovereignty applies to monetary constitutions, and show how the 19th century Suffolk banking system was characterized by polycentric sovereignty, rendering its (de facto) monetary constitution self-enforcing. We conclude by briefly discussing the implications of our analysis for the role of the state in maintaining healthy money and banking systems.

Cryptoliquidity: The Blockchain and Monetary Stability
James Caton, North Dakota State University and American Institute for Economic Research

The development of blockchain and cryptocurrency may alleviate the economic strain associated with recession. Economic recessions tend to be aggregate demand driven, meaning that they are caused by fluctuations in the supply of or demand for money. Holding monetary policy as solution assumes that stability must arise from outside of the economic system. Under a policy regime that allows innovations in blockchain to develop, blockchain technology may promote a money supply that is responsive to changes in demand to hold money. This work suggests that cryptocurrencies present an opportunity to profitably implement rules that promote macroeconomic stability. In particular, cryptocurrency that is asset-backed may provide a means for cheaply attaining liquidity during a crisis.

William J. Luther

William J. Luther

William J. Luther is the Director of AIER’s Sound Money Project and an Associate Professor of Economics at Florida Atlantic University. His research focuses primarily on questions of currency acceptance. He has published articles in leading scholarly journals, including Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Institutional Economics, Public Choice, and Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. His popular writings have appeared in The Economist, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. His work has been featured by major media outlets, including NPR, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, TIME Magazine, National Review, Fox Nation, and VICE News.

Luther earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University and his B.A. in Economics at Capital University. He was an AIER Summer Fellowship Program participant in 2010 and 2011.


Selected Publications

Cash, Crime, and Cryptocurrencies.” Co-authored with Joshua R. Hendrickson. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (Forthcoming).

Central Bank Independence and the Federal Reserve’s New Operating Regime.” Co-authored with Jerry L. Jordan. Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (May 2022).

The Federal Reserve’s Response to the COVID-19 Contraction: An Initial Appraisal.” Co-authored with Nicolas Cachanosky, Bryan Cutsinger, Thomas L. Hogan, and Alexander W. Salter. Southern Economic Journal (March 2021).

Is Bitcoin Money? And What That Means.”Co-authored with Peter K. Hazlett. Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (August 2020).

Is Bitcoin a Decentralized Payment Mechanism?” Co-authored with Sean Stein Smith. Journal of Institutional Economics (March 2020).

Endogenous Matching and Money with Random Consumption Preferences.” Co-authored with Thomas L. Hogan. B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics (June 2019).

Adaptation and Central Banking.” Co-authored with Alexander W. Salter. Public Choice (January 2019).

Getting Off the Ground: The Case of Bitcoin.Journal of Institutional Economics (2019).

Banning Bitcoin.” Co-authored with Joshua R. Hendrickson. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (2017).

Bitcoin and the Bailout.” Co-authored with Alexander W. Salter. Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (2017).

The Political Economy of Bitcoin.” Co-authored with Joshua R. Hendrickson and Thomas L. Hogan. Economic Inquiry (2016).

Cryptocurrencies, Network Effects, and Switching Costs.Contemporary Economic Policy (2016).

Positively Valued Fiat Money after the Sovereign Disappears: The Case of Somalia.” Co-authored with Lawrence H. White. Review of Behavioral Economics (2016).

The Monetary Mechanism of Stateless Somalia.Public Choice (2015).


Books by William J. Luther

Get notified of new articles from William J. Luther and AIER.
AIER - American Institute for Economic Research

250 Division Street | PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230-1000

Contact AIER
Telephone: 1-888-528-1216 | Fax: 1-413-528-0103

Press and other media outlets contact
[email protected]

Editorial Policy

This work is licensed under a 
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,
except where copyright is otherwise reserved.

© 2021 American Institute for Economic Research
Privacy Policy

AIER is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
registered in the US under EIN: 04-2121305