This post recalls some debates in monetary theory among British political economists while these events were occurring. (I don't consider myself expert on monetary theory during the Classical period.) Table 1 shows some schools of thought in monetary theory. The term schools is traditional with respect to the currency and banking schools, but should not be interpreted too strongly for any groups in the table. These schools, unlike, say, the Physiocrats, do not have a recognized leader, followers, popularizers, etc. Rather, they are more like the Mercantilists, a diverse set of pamphleteers and politicians grouped together by later writers.
|1825-1844||Currency School||Banking School|
|Quantity Theory||Endogenous Money|
In each period shown in the table, I have listed two schools. Economists in the first school in each row argued that the money supply was exogenous and that the price level varied with amount of money issued by central bank. Economists in the second school in each row argued that the money supply was endogenous, that is was not capable of being controlled by the central bank, and that it varied with demand for it. The details of these arguments varied among these and other economists.
The last row suggests that these arguments are still current. In fact, advocates of Modern Monetary Theory currently argue that the money supply is endogenous.