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Cutting the Bank Down to Size: Efficient and Legitimate Decision-making in the European Central Bank After Enlargement

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  • Dorothee Heisenberg
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    Abstract

    This article examines the problems enlargement poses for one specific supranational organization, the European Central Bank (ECB). The article synthesizes three different literatures, on enlargement, ECB transparency and legitimacy, and effective monetary policy-making, which up until now have not been linked. The three issues are related, and ought to be considered together when policy choices regarding institution-building are made, because the choices in one issue constrain those in the others. Specifically, the argument is that transparency in the decision-making process is key to allowing the denationalization of decision-making to make it more effective. The more transparent the policy-making process is, the easier it is to have a rotation of votes. Conversely, if the policy-making process is opaque, a system of combining regions into one voting entity is better because the citizenry is represented in every vote, even if in a highly diluted fashion. The proposed ECB reform does not adequately address legitimate concerns on the part of the public as to how the decisions are made within the Governing Council. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Common Market Studies.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (06)
    Pages: 397-420

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:397-420

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    Cited by:
    1. Helge Berger, 2006. "Optimal central bank design: Benchmarks for the ECB," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 207-235, September.
    2. Berger, Helge & Müller, Till, 2004. "How should large and small countries be represented in a currency union?," Discussion Papers 2004/20, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    3. Piotr Stanek, 2004. "How to assess proposals for enlargement reform of the European Central Bank," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 91(5), pages 209-239.
    4. James Forder, 2005. "The limits of `independence' and the policy of the ECB^," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 431-444, December.
    5. Ullrich, Katrin, 2004. "Decision-Making of the ECB: Reform and Voting Power," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-70, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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