Economie européenne

20 novembre 2011

Comprendre la politique monétaire grâce au baby-sitting

Filed under: Economie,Finances publiques,Inflation,Politique monétaire — numawan @ 21:57

Un article amusant qui permet de mieux comprendre comment la politique monétaire crée des cycles économiques.

En dehors de l’aspect monétaire, ce que je trouve particulièrement intéressant dans cet article, c’est que les participants de la co-op ont tendance à interpréter des perturbations monétaires sous un angle moral et non pas économique. Selon la situation, il y a des profiteurs qui soit ne sortent pas assez, soit sortent trop.

Le parallèle avec la situation de la zone Euro n’est pas difficile à établir. Les perturbations monétaires actuelles extrêmement graves sont interprêtées sous un angle moral:  certains pays seraient vertueux, et sont récompensés. D’autres pas, et sont punis. Bien entendu, je considère que ce genre de considérations sont sans intérêt en macro-économie.

Monetary Theory and the Great Capitol Hill Baby Sitting Co-op Crisis
Joan Sweeney and Richard James Sweeney – Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking – February 1977

[…]

Whatever the lessons of the board’s experience, the lessons from the co-op’s are clear. (1) The co-op has been increasing its money supply (« scrip ») per capita, by running budget deficits, and this has generated inflationary forces. (2) However, the main « commodity » this scrip money buys is baby-sitting time, and the price of baby sitting is constitutionally pegged at one unit of scrip for every one-half hour of baby sitting. Hence, this system of price controls means the inflationary pressure does not drive up the scrip-price of baby sitting, inflation is suppressed, and shortages are found. (3) The political process of rectifying the situation holds little hope. Few members see the problem as fundamentally monetary, but instead believe others are not doing their part in removing the shortages.

[…]

In the previously mentioned bad old days, according to long-time members, there was a shortage of scrip. There was so little scrip to go around that holders were reluctant to squander it by going out. Those who wanted to go out but didn’t have scrip were desperate to get sitting jobs. The scrip-price of baby sitting couldn’t adjust, and the shortage worsened. The co-op even passed a rule that everyone must go out at least once every six months. The thinking was that some members were shirking, not going out enough, displaying the antisocial ways and ad morals that were destroying the co-op. Hence the bylaw to correct morals.

This tacky coercion naturally failed to solve the problem, but created excessive heartburn all around. In the end, despair forced resort to monetary policy—each current member was given ten more hours of scrip. New members had been given twenty hours and required to pay back twenty when leaving—now they were given thirty and required to pay back only twenty. And, behold, just as even our monetary authorities might predict, were they given to accurate predictions, the problem went away. There shortly arrived a balance between those who wanted to go out and those who wanted to sit.

A golden age, on a minor scale. Those people who previously hadn’t wanted to go out must have changed their morals—or maybe it was the ten hours all around. In fact, the ten-scrip reform has moved the co-op from a position where there was too little scrip and the amount was shrinking, to a position where there was just about the right amount of scrip but the amount was growing. After a while, it naturally followed there was too much scrip and more people wanted to go out than to sit.

[…]

En plus de l’article des Sweeneys, cela vaut la peine de lire ce commentaire de Paul Krugman une vingtaine d’années plus tard.

The baby-sitting Co-op that went bust teaches us something that could save the world
Paul Krugman – 1997 ?

 

Publicités

Laisser un commentaire »

Aucun commentaire pour l’instant.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Laisser un commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion / Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion / Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion / Changer )

Photo Google+

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Google+. Déconnexion / Changer )

Connexion à %s

Propulsé par WordPress.com.

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :