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Central Bank Independence, Accountability and Transparency: Complements or Strategic Substitutes?

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  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew
  • Libich, Jan

Abstract

The paper incorporates three institutional design features into a Kydland-Prescott, Barro-Gordon monetary policy game. It shows that goal-independence and goal-transparency (an explicit inflation target) at the central bank are substitute ‘commitment technologies’ that reduce inflation and build credibility. In addition, goal-transparency is shown to be socially superior as it also lowers public’s monitoring cost. Nevertheless, independent central bankers are less likely to embrace it if they perceive public scrutiny (accountability) as intrusive. Combining these findings implies that both goal-transparency and accountability will be negatively related to goal-independence for which we present empirical support using established indices. Our analysis further suggests that, to avoid an inferior equilibrium with opaque objectives and a ‘democratic deficit’, institutional reforms should follow the Bank of England scenario, in which an explicit inflation target is first legislated and only then instrument (but not goal) independence granted.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5470.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5470

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Keywords: accountability; central bank independence; inflation targeting; monitoring; transparency;

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Cited by:
  1. Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2007. "The Economic Impact of Central Bank Transparency: A Survey," Discussion Paper 2007-06, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Alexander Mihailov & Katrin Ullrich, 2008. "Independence and Accountability of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Committees," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2008-72, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  3. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions with central bank transparency and public investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 195-208, September.
  4. Donato Masciandaro & Marc Quintyn & Michael Taylor, 2008. "Financial Supervisory Independence and Accountability-Exploring the Determinants," IMF Working Papers 08/147, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields And Methods From Past To Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 769-800, 09.
  6. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moise, 2008. "Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union in the Presence of Uncertainty about the Central Bank Preferences," MPRA Paper 13907, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2009.
  7. Carsten Hefeker, 2006. "EMU Enlargement, Policy Uncertainty and Economic Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1767, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Katrin Ullrich, 2007. "Introducing Instruments of Central Bank Accountability in a Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 239-262, July.
  9. Papadamou, Stephanos, 2013. "Market anticipation of monetary policy actions and interest rate transmission to US Treasury market rates," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 545-551.
  10. Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der, 2008. "The Economic Impact of Central Bank Transparency," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3130604, Tilburg University.
  11. Jan Libich, 2006. "Inflexibility Of Inflation Targeting Revisited: Modeling The "Anchoring"Effect," CAMA Working Papers 2006-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  12. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2009. "Public investment, distortionary taxes and monetary policy transparency," MPRA Paper 15858, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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