Staff Economists

Robert L. Hetzel

headshot of Robert L. Hetzel

My research agenda is to write about the historical evolution of central banking in a way that stimulates debate over three issues: 1) the role of central banks in the constitutional framework of government, especially with regard to seigniorage issues; 2) the role of central banks in assuring financial stability, especially with regard to market discipline versus regulation; and 3) the way in which central banks control inflation, especially with respect to trade-offs, if any, with the behavior of unemployment.

Professional Experience

Bob Hetzel is a senior economist and research advisor in the Research Department and has been with the Richmond Fed since 1975. His research has been in academic publications such as the Cato Journal and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Most recently, Hetzel published a book that chronicles the history of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1975
B.A., University of Chicago, 1967

Curriculum vitae

"The Case for Inflation Targeting." Cato Journal 27, no.2 (Spring/Summer 2007): 273-81.

"Price Stability and Japanese Monetary Policy." Bank of Japan Monetary and Economic Studies 22, no. 3 (October 2004): 1-23.

"Currency Boards: Their Past, Present, and Possible Future Role: Comment." Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy 39 (December 1993): 189-93.

"Central Banks' Independence in Historical Perspective: A Review Essay." Journal of Monetary Economics 25, no. 1 (January 1990): 165-76.

Third Quarter 2014

Should Greece Remain in the Eurozone?

Robert L. Hetzel

Second Quarter 2014

The Real Bills Views of the Founders of the Fed

Robert L. Hetzel

Second Quarter 2012

Does Monetarism Retain Relevance?

Robert L. Hetzel

Spring 2009

Monetary Policy in the 2008--2009 Recession

Robert L. Hetzel

Summer 2004

How Do Central Banks Control Inflation?

Robert L. Hetzel

Summer 2003

Japanese Monetary Policy and Deflation

Read our Summer 2003 article on Japan's efforts to combat deflation.

Robert L. Hetzel

Winter 2001

The Treasury-Fed Accord: A New Narrative Account

Robert L. Hetzel and Ralph F. Leach

Winter 2001

After the Accord: Reminiscences on the Birth of the Modern Fed

Robert L. Hetzel and Ralph F. Leach

Winter 1998

Arthur Burns and Inflation

Robert L. Hetzel

Winter 1995

An Empirical Measure of the Real Rate of Interest

Robert L. Hetzel and Robert M. Darin

Summer 1994

A Shift-Adjusted M2 Indicator for Monetary Policy

Robert L. Hetzel and Robert M. Darin

Sep/Oct, 1992

How Useful Is M2 Today?

Robert L. Hetzel

Jan/Feb, 1992

Indexed Bonds as an Aid to Monetary Policy

Robert L. Hetzel

Mar/Apr, 1990

A Mandate for Price Stability

Robert L. Hetzel

Mar/Apr, 1990

Maintaining Price Stability: A Proposal

Robert L. Hetzel

Sep/Oct, 1989

M2 and Monetary Policy

Robert L. Hetzel

Sep/Oct, 1988

The Monetary Responsibilities of a Central Bank

Robert L. Hetzel

Mar/Apr, 1986

Monetary Policy in the Early 1980s

Robert L. Hetzel

Nov/Dec, 1984

A Monetarist Money Demand Function

Robert L. Hetzel

May/Jun, 1978

The Cause of the Dollar Depreciation

Robert L. Hetzel and Thomas A. Lawler

Sep/Oct, 1977

A Primer on the Importance of the Money Supply

Robert L. Hetzel

Jan/Feb, 1976

Predicting the Rate of Inflation in 1976

Robert L. Hetzel

May 2015, No. 15-04R

Should Greece Remain in the Eurozone? (Revised July 2015)

Robert L. Hetzel

February 2004, No. 04-1

Price Stability and Japanese Monetary Policy

Robert L. Hetzel

October 1986, No. 86-6

A Critique of Theories of Money Stock Determination

Robert L. Hetzel

May 1984, No. 84-2

The Formulation of Monetary Policy

Robert L. Hetzel

May 1984, No. 84-1

Monetary Policy in the Early 1980's

Robert L. Hetzel

April 2015, No. 15-04

Nominal GDP: Target or Benchmark?

Robert L. Hetzel

November 2009, No. 09-11

Rolling Back the Financial Safety Net

Robert L. Hetzel and Stephen Slivinski

The Monetary Policy of the Federal Reserve: A History. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

"Milton Friedman and Liberty." Region Focus, Winter 2007.

"Remembering Milton Friedman: The Power of Markets." Richmond Times Dispatch, November 29, 2006.

 "Friedman, Milton." In An Encyclopedia of Keynesian Economics, edited by Thomas Cate, 191-194. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 1997.

 "A Better Way to Fight Inflation." Wall Street Journal, April 25, 1991.

"The Political Economy of Monetary Policy." In The Political Economy of American Monetary Policy, edited by Thomas Mayer, 99-114. Cambridge Press, 1989.

Contact Us


Robert L. Hetzel
(804) 697-8213