The monetary-policy process: the big picture
Graham Smart [+]
This chapter begins with a discussion of knowledge-building in the profession of economics, and then moves on to portray ‘the economy’ as a site-specific, symbol-based representation that is created, maintained, and revised through the discourse practices of economists collaborating for specific occupational ends. Looking at the particular representation of the Canadian economy created by economists at the Bank of Canada to accomplish their work of economic research, analysis, and policy-making, I suggest that this ‘economy’ permeates the economists’ thinking, speaking, and writing, and is instantiated in the mathematical equations of the Quarterly Projection Model. With this background, and also drawing on inscription theory, the chapter then provides an overview of the Bank’s ‘monetary-policy process’ – a broad writing-intensive activity that encompasses knowledge-building, policy-making, and policy-related communications with outside groups. Topics include: Knowledge-building, ideology, and rhetoric in economics; ‘The economy’ as a cultural construct; Knowledge-building, policy-making, and external communications; Methodological reflections: foundations of interpretive ethnography.