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.

Issue Title Author(s)
Second Quarter 2013 The Monetarist-Keynesian Debate and the Phillips Curve: Lessons from the Great Inflation Robert L. Hetzel
Second Quarter 2012 Does Monetarism Retain Relevance? Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 2009 Should Increased Regulation of Bank Risk-Taking Come from Regulators or from the Market? Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 2009 Monetary Policy in the 2008--2009 Recession Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 2008 What is the Monetary Standard, Or, How Did the Volcker-Greenspan FOMCs Tame Inflation? Robert L. Hetzel
Winter 2007 The Contributions of Milton Friedman to Economics Robert L. Hetzel
Summer 2006 Making the Systematic Part of Monetary Policy Transparent Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 2005 What Difference Would an Inflation Target Make? Robert L. Hetzel
Summer 2004 How Do Central Banks Control Inflation? Robert L. Hetzel
Summer 2003 Japanese Monetary Policy and Deflation Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 2002 German Monetary History in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century: From the Deutsche Mark to the Euro Robert L. Hetzel
Winter 2002 German Monetary History in the First Half of the Twentieth Century Robert L. Hetzel
Winter 2001 The Treasury-Fed Accord: A New Narrative Account Robert L. Hetzel
Ralph F. Leach
Winter 2001 After the Accord: Reminiscences on the Birth of the Modern Fed Robert L. Hetzel
Ralph F. Leach
Spring 2000 The Taylor Rule: Is It a Useful Guide to Understanding Monetary Policy? Robert L. Hetzel
Winter 1999 Japanese Monetary Policy: A Quantity Theory Perspective Robert L. Hetzel
Winter 1998 Arthur Burns and Inflation Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 1997 The Case for a Monetary Rule in a Constitutional Democracy Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 1996 Sterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention: The Fed Debate in the 1960s Robert L. Hetzel
Winter 1995 An Empirical Measure of the Real Rate of Interest Robert M. Darin
Robert L. Hetzel
Summer 1994 A Shift-Adjusted M2 Indicator for Monetary Policy Robert M. Darin
Robert L. Hetzel
Spring 1994 The Free Trade Debate: The Illusion of Security Versus Growth Robert L. Hetzel
Summer 1993 Economic Quarterly: A Quantity Theory Framework for Monetary Policy Robert L. Hetzel
Essay Title Author(s)
April 2015
Nominal GDP: Target or Benchmark? Robert L. Hetzel
November 2009
Rolling Back the Financial Safety Net Robert L. Hetzel
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