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Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour

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  • Helge Berger
  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

Empirical studies crediting 'independent and conservative central banks' with lowering inflation and inflation volatility have been criticised for their focus on policy outcomes instead of policies, and for their unsystematic conflation of independence and conservatism. We present results from time-series models for the German Bundesbank that avoid these shortfalls. Conservatism matters in the following sense: ("i" ) more conservative Bundesbank Councils tend to react stronger to changes in inflation and output, and ("ii" ) an increase in conservatism leads to a more activist stabilisation policy. This is in line with simple policy models incorporating economic persistence with implementation lags for monetary policy. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 505 (07)
Pages: 745-766

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:505:p:745-766

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Cited by:
  1. Belke, Ansgar & Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Does government ideology matter in monetary policy? A panel data analysis for OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1126-1139.
  2. Christoph Moser & Axel Dreher, 2007. "Do Markets Care about Central Bank Governor Changes? Evidence from Emerging Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 2177, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Is German Domestic Social Policy Politically Controversial?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-06, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  4. Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Munich Reprints in Economics 19269, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Berlemann, Michael & Hilscher, Kai, 2010. "Effective monetary policy conservatism: A comparison of 11 OECD countries," HWWI Research Papers 2-21, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  6. Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(2), pages 69–101, July.
  7. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2011. "Central Bank Independence and Conservatism under Uncertainty: Substitutes or Complements?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3344, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Hefeker, Carsten & Zimmer, Blandine, 2011. "The optimal choice of central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 595-606.
  9. Davide Debortoli & Junior Maih & Ricardo Nunes, 2011. "Loose commitment in medium-scale macroeconomic models: theory and applications," International Finance Discussion Papers 1034, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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