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Transparency of Central Bank Preferences

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  • Volker Hahn

Abstract

In this paper, we examine whether the transparency of the central bank's preferences is desirable. We make two major points. First, in the literature on preference transparency variance-reduction frameworks are often adopted. As a consequence a change in the degree of transparency affects the magnitude of information asymmetries, but at the same time it implies a rather arbitrary effect on the distribution of preferences. We present a clean framework without this problem. Second, using a very general specification of shocks to the central bank's preferences, we show that society prefers transparency if it sufficiently values the employment target, whereas it prefers opacity if it estimates inflation as sufficiently important. Copyright 2008 The Author. Journal Compilation Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 10 (2009)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: 32-49

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:10:y:2009:i::p:32-49

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References

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  1. Jensen, Henrik, 2001. "Optimal degrees of transparency in monetary policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. Geraats, Petra Maria, 2001. "Precommitment, Transparency and Monetary Policy," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Faust, John, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Seminar Papers 636, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  5. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  6. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
  7. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2000. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 218-35, May.
  8. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
  9. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  10. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Jensen, Henrik, 2003. " Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 129-36, February.
  11. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2002. "Independence Before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics, and Central Bank Design," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0202, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Eijffinger, Sylvester & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2003. " Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique: Reply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 137-39, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Carsten Hefeker, 2011. "Policy Uncertainty and Economic Reforms in a Monetary Union," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(3), pages 274-285, 08.
  2. Geraats, P.M., 2005. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0543, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Sweidan, Osama D. & Widner, Benjamin, 2008. "Transparency and central bank losses in developing countries," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 45-54, March.
  4. Sánchez, Marcelo, 2009. "Monetary Union of Small Open Economies: The Role of Trasparency Misperceptions," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio di Genova, vol. 62(4), pages 469-504.
  5. Volker Hahn, 2012. "Designing Monetary Policy Committees," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-23, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  6. Malcolm Edey & Andrew Stone, 2004. "A Perspective on Monetary Policy Transparency and Communication," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
  7. Malcolm Edey, 2006. "An Australian perspective on inflation targeting, communication and transparency," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in Asia: approaches and implementation, volume 31, pages 3-24 Bank for International Settlements.

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