Central Banking as a Political Principal-Agent Problem
AbstractAn inflation and stabilization bias may arise as a result of the principal-agent nature of monetary policy. Both depend on the degree of political uncertainty and the type of relationship between central bankers and the incumbent political leaders. Specifically, our analysis indicates how a close relationship between central bankers and incumbent political leaders can lead to undesirable outcomes, particularly so during periods of electoral competition and political uncertainty. Various institutional proposals exist for resolving this problem. Our analysis shows that in contrast to Friedman-type policy rules or the appointment of `conservative' central bankers, personal independence of the central banker from government or performance-orientated compensation packages can achieve both optimal stabilization and the elimination of the inflation bias.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 752.
Date of creation: Jan 1993
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
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