New ASI paper "The Real Problem was Nominal - the crash of 2008" was featured on The Economist's blog, which looked at how British data would fare in the 'musical chairs' model:
SCOTT SUMNER has written a paper for the Adam Smith Institute in which he sets out the market monetarist interpretation of the great recession. Central to this is the "musical chairs" model of unemployment, which he assesses against American labour market data.
The musical chairs model says that shocks to nominal GDP—or total spending in the economy—drive unemployment. When nominal GDP falls, there is no longer enough spending to sustain the same number of jobs unless wages fall. Because wages are slow to adjust, unemployment rises instead.
“The Real Problem was Nominal” - written by Prof Scott Sumner, a leading economist who was a key inspiration for the Federal Reserve’s QE3 programme - explains how the European Central Bank is repeating the mistakes that the Fed and Bank of England made in the 2008 crisis—trying to plan credit and micromanage the financial sector, when the real issue is excessively tight monetary policy.
The paper argues that Eurozone quantitative easing will not reverse the Eurozone’s decline unless it is open-ended and tied more explicitly to the ECB’s inflation target. Targeting nominal GDP—the total amount of spending in the economy, also known as aggregate demand—would be even better, the paper argues, guaranteeing more stability when unexpected supply-side shocks like oil price movements make inflation targeting trickier.