Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Central Banker Contracts, Incomplete Information, and Monetary Policy Surprises: In Search of a Selfish Central Banker?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Chortareas, Georgios E
  • Miller, Stephen M

Abstract

Approaching monetary policy as a principal-agent problem provides a useful framework for interpreting alternative delegation schemes. In this paper, we consider the effectiveness of central banker incentive schemes when the principal delegates monetary policy through contracts but remains uncertain about the central banker's responsiveness to such schemes. We adopt a simple principal-agent model and assume that the central banker's trade-off between social welfare and the incentive scheme is private information. We consider two types of central bankers; one who responds to the incentive scheme ("selfish") and one who does not and only cares about social welfare ("benevolent"). We demonstrate that when a benevolent central banker accepts a contract designed for a selfish central banker, positive inflation surprises occur and output exceeds its natural rate. We further show that a benevolent central banker with an inflation bias has an incentive to masquerade as selfish. Mechanisms exist that solve that problem by achieving preference revelation. We consider a simple mechanism in dominant strategies that induces the benevolent type either not to breach or not to accept the appointment (contract) in the first place. This multi-period mechanism works with either inflation targets, or the appointment of a conservative central banker. Our results suggest that more complicated incentive schemes, embedded within broader constitutional arrangements, are required in the presence of private information for them to work effectively. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://journals.kluweronline.com/issn/0048-5829/contents
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 116 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (September)
Pages: 271-95

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:116:y:2003:i:3-4:p:271-95

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Muscatelli, Anton, 1998. "Optimal Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets with Uncertain Central Bank Preferences: Accountability through Independence?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 529-42, March.
  2. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  3. Buchanan, James M, 1987. "The Constitution of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 243-50, June.
  4. Vickers, John, 1986. "Signalling in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 443-55, November.
  5. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
  6. Bennett T. McCallum, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," NBER Working Papers 4280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  10. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  11. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  12. Svensson, Lars E O, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 1249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Jensen, H., 1996. "Inflation targets and contracts with uncertain central banker preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  15. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  16. Cukierman, A. & Liviatan, N., 1989. "Optimal Accommodation By Strong Policymakers Under Incomplete Information," Papers 13-89, Tel Aviv.
  17. Jonsson, Gunnar, 1997. "Monetary politics and unemployment persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 303-325, July.
  18. Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  19. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-20, December.
  20. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts & Sylvester Eijffinger, 1998. "Incentive schemes for central bankers under uncertainty: inflation targets versus contracts," Bank of England working papers 88, Bank of England.
  21. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
  22. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  23. Waller, Christopher J & Walsh, Carl E, 1996. "Central-Bank Independence, Economic Behavior, and Optimal Term Lengths," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1139-53, December.
  24. Herrendorf, Berthold & Lockwood, Ben, 1996. "Rogoff's Conservative Central Banker Restored," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 450, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  25. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
  26. D. Backus & J. Driffil, 1998. "Inflation and Reputation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625, David K. Levine.
  27. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. Fratianni, Michele & von Hagen, Jurgen & Waller, Christopher J, 1997. "Central Banking as a Political Principal-Agent Problem," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 378-93, April.
  29. Lawler, Phillip, 2000. "Centralised Wage Setting, Inflation Contracts, and the Optimal Choice of Central Banker," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 559-75, April.
  30. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Seonghwan Oh, 1990. "Strategic discipline in monetary policy with private information: optimal targeting periods," Working Papers 1990-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  31. Bennett T. McCallum, 1996. "Crucial Issues Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  33. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  34. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  35. Lossani, Marco & Natale, Piergiovanna & Tirelli, Patrizio, 1998. "Incomplete Information in Monetary Policy Games: Rules Rather Than a Conservative Central Banker," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 33-47, February.
  36. Christopher J. Waller, 1995. "Performance contracts for central bankers," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-14.
  37. Carl E. Walsh, 2002. "When should central bankers be fired?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, 03.
  38. Jensen, Henrik, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy cooperation through state-independent contracts with targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 517-539, March.
  39. Georgios E. Chortareas & Stephen M. Miller, 2000. "Monetary Policy Delegation, Contract Costs, and Contract Targets," Working papers 2000-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  40. Levy, Philip I., 1999. "Lobbying and international cooperation in tariff setting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 345-370, April.
  41. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  42. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1999. "Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets under Uncertainty: Why We Might Need Conservative Central Bankers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 241-54, May.
  43. Avinash Dixit, 1996. "Special-Interest Lobbying and Endogenous Commodity Taxation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 375-388, Fall.
  44. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 211-21, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Meixing Dai & Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2009. "Accountability and Transparency about Central Bank Preferences for Model Robustness," Working Papers of BETA 2009-18, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  2. Giuseppe Ciccarone & Enrico Marchetti, 2012. "Optimal linear contracts under common agency and uncertain central bank preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 263-282, January.
  3. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2003. "Does monetary policy transparency reduce disinflation costs?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(5), pages 521-540, 09.
  4. Georgios E. Chortareas & Stephen M. Miller, 2006. "The Walsh Contracts for Central Bankers Are Optimal After All!," Working papers 2006-14, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  5. Dai, Meixing & Spyromitros, Eleftherios, 2012. "Inflation contract, central bank transparency and model uncertainty," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2371-2381.
  6. Giuseppe Ciccarone & Enrico Marchetti, 2008. "Linear Contracts, Common Agency and Central Bank Preference Uncertainty," Working Papers 115, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  7. Ronald A. Ratti & Sang-Kun Bae, 2004. "Inflation Contracts, Inflation and Exchange Rate Targeting, and Uncertain Central Bank Preferences," Working Papers 0422, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 21 Dec 2004.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:116:y:2003:i:3-4:p:271-95. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.