Money, prices and causality: monetarist versus structuralist explanations using pooled country evidence
The direction of causality between changes in money supply and aggregate prices has long been a matter of controversy between structuralists and monetarists. This paper addresses deficiencies in this literature in three ways. First, a large sample of countries with alternate measures of money and price variables is used to evaluate the evidence on money, inflation and causality. Second, combined data are tested for causality, with the combinations based on variables suggested by the literature - level of per capita income, magnitude of inflation, degree of financial market development, and independence of the central bank. Finally, because the choice of lag length is often arbitrary, results are generated with varying lags and consistency across different lag periods looked for. Two presentation methods are developed - categorical and graphical. Evidence of structural inflation, was found only in Chile and Sri Lanka. Evidence of money supply exogeneity on the other hand was found to be strongest in Kuwait, Paraguay and the USA. Most countries exhibited mixed evidence of money supply endogeneity, with bidirectional causation between money supply and aggregate prices a common result.