Most Influential Works of Milton Friedman

There’s a ton of ink spilled on Milton Friedman (FT, NYT, WSJ) . Rather than add to the deluge of homages (you know my views that markets are imperfect), here is a short list of some of his best known and most influential writings:   

Capitalism and Freedom (1962)

Monetary Policy: Theory and Practice 
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, February 1982

The monetarist controversy
Milton Friedman and Franco Modigliani
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Spring 1977

Inflation and Unemployment
Nobel Memorial Lecture, Dec 13, 1976

Have Monetary Policies Failed? 
American Economic Review, May 1972

A Monetary Theory of Nominal Income
Journal of Political Economy, April 1971

A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis
Journal of Political Economy, March 1970

The Definition of Money: Net Wealth and Neutrality as Criteria 
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, February 1969
Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz

The Role of Monetary Policy
American Economic Review, March 1968

His autobio is here, and the wikipedia entery is here.

You now have sufficient reading to keep you busy all weekend . . .


UPDATE November 17, 2006 10:45am

Quote of the day:

"The Father of Monetarism (and proponent of free markets), Milton Friedman, died yesterday. Our friend Jimmy says Bernanke’s recent comments that trivialize money and monetary aggregates were probably too much for Milton to take." 
-Bill King


UPDATE November 17, 2006 3:24pm

The WSj page one piece moves to the free section: How Milton Friedman Changed Economics, Policy and Markets

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Gabriel M. commented on Nov 17

    Milton Friedman also thought that markets have imperfections. Plus, he was a sort of Keynesian (he did introduce many of his monetarist insights via a modified IS-LM model, didn’t he?).

    What Friedman did was to look hard at those imperfection and what we can actually do about them, if we go being the naivety of the counter-factual, omniscient welfare planner and that of what the state actually is and how it actually work, before we ask of it to control our lives.

    I’m stick of people misrepresenting free market economists by strictly associating them with the model of perfect competition. — That’s a straw man.

    Friedman, Stigler, their entire generation looked at market imperfection, market failures AND public failures, and saw that when government fails, and it mostly always does, things are far more ominous. They realized that interventionism is like asking a murderer to protect you from a thief.

  2. Yaser Anwar commented on Nov 17


    The autobio link doesn’t work.



  3. charts commented on Nov 17

    Barry, they’re coming after you:

    “I’m rather dispointed with this Blog right now, Barry R talks bearishly all year long and predicted the market would go down by half, apparently nothing has been happening here. Ironically if you ask which direction Barry has traded for most of the year, of course, he will for sure tell you, LONG. This is funny.

    Now this blog is focusing on the topic which the FEDERAL RESERVE is supposed to deal, BLS, PPI, CPI…etc, it makes me feel Barry R’s Blog is not a serious one anymore, you see, the truth is Barry does NOT have all data to do FED’s job, and even worse he is dislocating his trades from his view.

    This sounds like a joke, the material in this BLOG is the topic in the LUNCH table, but never bring it back to your trading room. My 2 Cents.”

  4. Barry Ritholtz commented on Nov 17

    Listen, people can snipe all they want. The Bulls are in full chest pounding mode, and as someone else wrote, the louder they yell, the more you know you are right.

    Despite my protestations that Forecast is folly, I play the game and tried to shake things up. Any forecast is stale within a week — did anyone predict the GSCI change? The elction sweep? Might that impact the thinking from that point forward?

    Some sheeple seem to put way too much stock in other people’s forecasts. GAPTFY — Grow a pair / think for yourself is fast becoming our motto at TBP.

    As to the long side, the short term trading calls have all been public — including the Bullish BUY call on June 13 (pretty decent timing).

    The option trade I rec’d on Q calls was only up 750% over the next 48 hours — those made Cody crazy (why long? Aren’t you bearish?) as if the long term macro view was going to impact your day to day trading.

    Then there are the Buys of BP, SWY, ORCL, IBM, CPB, MOS, etc. All very public, and all pretty good.

    Again, the blog is here for intellectual stimulation and discussion — not trading advice.

    I question the intelligence of those people who don’t think for themselves, and are relying on blogs, Yahoo message boards, and (whattthehell) spam emails for their trading strategies and ideas . . .

  5. Leisa commented on Nov 17

    I wish someone would do a psychological profile of blog snipers…people who tiptoe in and then PHAROOM they launch the flame thrower sniping over this and that generally with nothing positive to add. Disagreement without disparagement is that hallmark of refined discourse. Sadly, anonymity breeds enmity.

    Due to inflationary pressures, that’s my 2.375 cents.

  6. Yaser Anwar commented on Nov 17


    Don’t stress yourself. Someone always likes to blame/point out other peoples’ mistakes without looking at their own.

    For idiots like those you should just have a link on the -) of the blog with all your public calls- so you can shove ’em in their face.

    You have great passion and commitment- thanks for all your analysis and fu*k that prick for saying it. I wonder who he is…

  7. Fred commented on Nov 17

    I read the blog. I typically don’t read the comments. In fact, I haven’t read this comment.

  8. andiron commented on Nov 17

    BR is being a little evasive..i remember, after 5 day rally in late july and he was still not impressed. i would like to know if BR selectively mentioning stocks ( a la cramer) that did well..Heck last 4 months everything did well…
    But like he says, BR is not responsible for his views in terms of stocks selection by readers..

  9. Cherry commented on Nov 17

    Economics is a worthless field, the extreme decadence of intellectualism. One of the elements that has caused Western society to decline in the last 2000 years.

  10. Eclectic commented on Nov 17

    Friedman: Brilliant… genius.

    But, he was just wrong about the causation of the Great Depression and the reasons it took so long to cure it.

    He very nearly had his errors demonstrated to him over the last 10 years, and Greenspan and Bernanke may yet have the error of applied monetarism demonstrated to them.

  11. Donaldo commented on Nov 17

    “You now have sufficient reading to keep you busy all weekend . . . ”

    – huh? So no weekend linkfest?? :(

  12. GS commented on Nov 17

    Here’s Ben Bernanke on Friedman’s 90th birthday:

    Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.

  13. GS commented on Nov 17


    I would like to acknowledge publicly that I like you and I think you are providing something interesting to think about and talk about via your blogs everyday. You have become a public TV personality and talking head and people put you a step or two above the average Joe when it comes to your market outlook.

    With that in mind I think it is important for you to clarify your thinking on the short term and long term trend of the market. May I suggest a new category to your blog that simply documents your take on the short and long term trend of the stock market as you see it at that time. I am not suggesting a “bullish” or “bearish” position. I am suggesting calling the market in a “uptrend” or “downtrend” as you see it with the complete understanding that the market changes trend and so do you, so to speak. Please think about it.

    By the way, I am not making this suggestion to help me. I am completely self reliant after 23 years of trading, analysis and cycle research, but that is not the case for most people and you know it. Help the small balled readers of your blog grow a bigger pair by helping them out with what the short term and long term trend is. You never know, your balls might get a little bigger also by playing along. I say that with all due respect. :-)

  14. Josh commented on Nov 17

    Thanks for the summary of information on Friedman.


  15. Scott Teresi commented on Nov 17

    Just FYI… Apparently charts’ quote comes from the comments in one of BR’s posts… I asked him for a URL, but he didn’t provide it. Maybe he doesn’t remember the post.


  16. James commented on Nov 17

    This is one of the best blogs on the internet. The best traders I have ever seen can be bearish longterm and bullish for several months. Due to age and inexperience I have not developed those skills, but someday I will. Thanks for the lively discussions

  17. Phil commented on Nov 17

    I would add to the list of Friedmen’s great works the Friedman Tobin debates of the 1970’s–two Nobel Prize winners on opposite sides of the spectrum debating monetary policy. Who wins? That depends on your persepective.

  18. kennycan commented on Nov 18

    Free to Choose?

    Monetary History of the United States 1867 – 1960?

  19. Barry Ritholtz commented on Nov 18


    I used to get into trouble all the time with Counsel when I’d mention specific buy this/sell that. Their legal arguments — that this was all risk/no reward — was compelling to me. Any jackass can file a lawsuit, and so the various buy/sell analyses are behind the premium firewall, with all its disclaimers and waivers. Getting stuck in a nuisance suit, would be an annoying time waster.

    On a related matter, we are working on a very cool quant tool that is the basis for much of the long stock recs I have made on TV (ORCL, IBM, SWY, GOOG, MOS, etc.) — even while being longer term bearish.

    I hope to make that available by early next year (yes, outsourced to India)

  20. Eclectic commented on Nov 18

    Wise counsel… at twice the price is still a bargain.

    …and that’s true even if:

    You know the difference between a catfish and a lawyer?

    …one’s a scum suckin’ bottom dweller, and the other one’s a fish.

  21. Anonymous commented on Nov 19

    Most Influential Works of Milton Friedman

    A short list of links to classic Friedman works

  22. Juan de la O commented on Nov 20

    Whatever the merits of Friedman’s theories and data mining, when placed into practice in the Chilean ‘laboratory’ they killed people, just as the extension of these theories/practices in the form of neo-liberalism has done for decades.

    I’m afraid there’s a dearth of knowledge among those who memorialize this man…but then, at least they perpetuate his ideological foolishness.

Read this next.

Posted Under