Journal of the History of Economic Thought

Research Articles

EDWIN WALTER KEMMERER AND THE ORIGINS OF THE FED

REBECA GOMEZ BETANCOURT

Abstract

In this article we analyze Edwin Walter Kemmerer’s contribution to the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Firstly, we contrast Kemmerer’s role in the transition from the Aldrich banking reform plan to the Glass–Owen plan with those of A. Piatt Andrew (who was Aldrich’s main advisor), H. Parker Willis (i.e., Carter Glass’s advisor), and J.L. Laughlin (who was Willis’ mentor). Secondly, we deal with theoretical questions posed by Kemmerer, who, as we assert, developed his own banking reform plan. Even if his proposals were not immediately taken into account in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, he contributes to the institutional structure of the Federal Reserve System.

Footnotes

Associate Professor at University of Lyon 2 and a member of Triangle research centre.

Triangle-ISH, Université Lumière Lyon 2. 14 Avenue Berthelot. 69363 Lyon, Cedex 07. Tél. +33 472 72 64 70; email: Rebeca.GomezBetancourt@univ-lyon2.fr. The author wishes to thank M. Jérôme de Boyer for his careful reading and inspired suggestions, and two anonymous referees of this journal for comments on an earlier draft. The usual caveats apply.