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Quest for the Best: How to Measure Central Bank Independence and Show its Relationship with Inflation

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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to check measures for explanatory power of central bank independence (CBI) in a series of econometric tests. Measures of central bank autonomy offer a useful expression of the extent to which a central bank is able to keep the government away from influencing a change in the inflation rate. The more a measure represents this idea, the easier one can find a relation between the CBI value and the inflation rate. Results of estimations show that proxies by Grilli et al. (1991) are strong regressors of inflation rate, contrary to those by Cukierman et al. (1992). Moreover, estimation results challenge the belief that divergences in CBI-inflation rate estimations are due to differences in institutional features across samples of countries, not to differences in legal proxies of central bank independence. Already results from a homogenous group of industrial countries indicate that some indices perform “better” than others.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its journal AUCO Czech Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 132-161

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Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2011_132

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Keywords: Central bank independence; political autonomy; economic autonomy; institution; estimation;

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References

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  1. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, December.
  2. Krause, Stefan & Méndez, Fabio, 2008. "Institutions, arrangements and preferences for inflation stability: Evidence and lessons from a panel data analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 282-307, March.
  3. Luis Ignacio Jácome & Francisco F. Vázquez, 2005. "Any Link Between Legal Central Bank Independence and Inflation? Evidence From Latin America and the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 05/75, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Mizon, Grayham E & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1986. "The Encompassing Principle and Its Application to Testing Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 657-78, May.
  5. Mangano, Gabriel, 1998. "Measuring Central Bank Independence: A Tale of Subjectivity and of Its Consequences," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 468-92, July.
  6. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Schaling, E. & Hoeberichts, M.M., 1997. "Central Bank independence: A sensitivity analysis," Discussion Paper 1997-10, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. de Haan, Jakob & van 't Hag, Gert Jan, 1995. " Variation in Central Bank Independence across Countries: Some Provisional Empirical Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 335-51, December.
  8. Taylor, John B., 1983. "`Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy' by Robert J. Barro and David B. Gordon," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 123-125.
  9. Jean-François Segalotto & Marco Arnone & Bernard Laurens, 2006. "Measures of Central Bank Autonomy," IMF Working Papers 06/228, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Peltonen, Tuomas A., 2006. "Are emerging market currency crises predictable? A test," Working Paper Series 0571, European Central Bank.
  11. Andreas Freytag & Donato Masciandaro, 2005. "Financial Supervision Fragmentation and Central Bank Independence: The Two Sides of the Same Coin?," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 14/2005, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  12. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  13. Cukierman, A. & Miller, G.P. & Neyapti, B., 2000. "Central Bank Rerform, Liberalization and Inflation in Transition Economies - an International Perspective," Papers 00-19, Tel Aviv.
  14. Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Macroeconomics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hayo, Bernd, 1998. "Inflation culture, central bank independence and price stability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 241-263, May.
  16. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.
  17. repec:tpr:intorg:v:56:y:2002:i:4:p:751-774 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
  19. Brumm, Harold J, 2000. "Inflation and Central Bank Independence: Conventional Wisdom Redux," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 807-19, November.
  20. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1997. "Why Does Inflation Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 335-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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