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Constitutions and Central Bank Independence: An Objection to McCallum's Second Fallacy


Author Info

  • Giordani, Paolo

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)


Most of the literature on monetary policy delegation assumes that the government can credibly commit to the delegation contract, an assumption criticized by McCallum. This paper provides foundations for the assumption that renegotiating a delegation contract can be costly by illustrating how political institutions can generate inertia in recontracting, reduce the gains from it or prevent it altogether. Once the nature of renegotiation costs has been clarified, it is easier to see why certain institutions can mitigate or solve dynamic inconsistencies better than others. The paper points to institutions which give Western democracies the technology to make credible delegation commitments, and argues that the ECB is an example of credible delegation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 426.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jan 2001
Date of revision: 06 Feb 2001
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0426

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Keywords: constitution; delegation; inertia; renegotiation costs; separation of powers;

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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Hayo & Carsten Hefeker, 2001. "Do We Really Need Central Bank Independence? A Critical Re- examination," Macroeconomics, EconWPA 0103006, EconWPA.
  2. Hayo, Bernd & Hefeker, Carsten, 2002. "Reconsidering central bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 653-674, November.


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