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Towards Measurement of Political Pressure on Central Banks in the Emerging Market Economies: The Case of the Central Bank of Egypt

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This paper assesses whether the legal independence granted to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) under the latest legislation is factual. I followed Fry’s methodology, which assumes that the level of independence of the central bank is determined by fiscal attributes. In an attempt to develop Fry’s method, I used a simple criterion to assess the central bank’s independence, namely, that the central bank is actually independent if it can fulfill its money supply target. Applying this criterion to the CBE and some other CBs in the developed countries and emerging market economies, we find that: (i) the legal independence granted to the CBE under the latest legislation is not factual; although the final objective of monetary policy is to achieve price stability, the CBE failed to fulfill its money supply target and achieve price stability, because it was responsive to political pressure and did not react to fulfill its money supply target; (ii) such political pressure on the CBE is due to fiscal attributes, as measured by domestic credit to the government; (iii) CBs whose independence is factual, according to our criterion, showed a negative relationship between the legal indices, as measured by the GMT index, and the fiscal attributes measured by DCGY. However, the relationship was anomalous when measured by the rate of inflation.

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Paper provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its series Working Papers IES with number 2007/30.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision: Dec 2007
Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2007_30

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Keywords: monetary policy; central bank independence; fiscal dominance political pressure;

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  1. Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Macroeconomics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fry, Maxwell J, 1998. "Assessing Central Bank Independence in Developing Countries: Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 512-29, July.
  3. S. Eijffinger & M. Van Keulen, 1995. "Central bank independence in another eleven countries," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(192), pages 39-81.
  4. Eijffinger, S.C.W., 1993. "Central bank independence in twelve industrial countries," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-152908, Tilburg University.
  5. S. Eijffinger & M. Van Keulen, 1995. "Central bank independence in another eleven countries," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(192), pages 39-81.
  6. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Keulen, M. van, 1995. "Central bank independence in another eleven countries," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-152914, Tilburg University.
  7. Maier, Philipp & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & de Haan, Jakob, 2002. "Political pressure on the Bundesbank: an empirical investigation using the Havrilesky approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 103-123, March.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
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