Scott Sumner and Cantillon Effects–Part 2

The intense (heated?) debate around the Cantillon Effects after an injection of money has produced a new post by Scott Sumner. Scott Sumner argues that it doesn’t matter where money in injected first because all possible injection points produce the same initial result; buying T-Bonds. I don’t think that Sumner is wrong on this, I do think, however, that this is just a first step of analysis and that Cantillon Effects depend on what happens after the money gets into the market through the exchange of T Bonds.

First things first. Sumner is not saying that there are no effects at all. When discussing the first myth, he acknowledges that the bond seller earns a commission when selling T Bonds. He thinks, however, that the amount of this benefit is trivial at a macroeconomic level. As I said on my previous post, it is different to say that there are no Cantillon Effects than to to say that the empirical relevance is considered to be trivial. Are all these trivial effects summed together still trivial? Could there be a mechanism such that this benefit is not trivial anymore? Is it the decision to bail-out or to not bail-out Lehman Brothers trivial? Even if the Lehman Brothers example falls outside Sumner’s scenario, it does exemplify a non-trivial effect on the first steps of a policy that buys assets from a financial institution.

Sigue leyendo

Does it make any difference how money is injected into the market? Sumner and the Cantillon Effect

At The Money Illusion a long and interesting discussion is still taking place around a post by Scott Sumner on monetary effects after a monetary injection of money into the market. Sumner takes on a quote by Sheldon Richman where he says that the Austrian school has (1) distinctively paid attention to the fact that money enters into the market through specific parts and not “as it falls from an helicopter” and (2) that money is non-neutral. Sumner argues that the non-neutrality of money is one of the most studied topics in monetary economics and that it is unimportant how money gets into the market. In the comment section (which I also recommend to read) David Henderson asks “Scott, Just so I can make sure what you’re saying: are you denying Cantillon effects?” Scott’s answer: “Yes.” I think there’s some true in Sumner comment, but also some shortcomings that overlook the presence of Cantillon Effects.

Sigue leyendo