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The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy

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  • Svensson, Lars

    ()
    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Faust, Jon

    ()
    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Abstract

We examine a central bank's endogenous choice of degree of control and degree of transparency, under both commitment and discretion. Under commitment, we find that the deliberate choice of sloppy control is far less likely under a standard central-bank loss function than reported for a less standard loss function by Cuikerman and Meltzer. Under discretion, maximum degree of control is the only equilibrium. With regard to the degree of transparency, under commitment, a sufficiently patient bank with sufficiently low average inflaiton bias will always choose minimum transparency. Under discretion, both minimum and maximum transparency are equilibria. We argue that discretion is the more realistic assumption for the choice of control and that commitment is more realistic for the choice of transparency. A maximum feasible degree of control with a minimum degree of transparency is then a likely outcome. The Bundesbank and the Federal Reserve System are, arguably, examples of this outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 669.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0669

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Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/
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Keywords: Monetary policy; Central banks;

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References

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  1. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  3. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," NBER Working Papers 6452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "Computational Economics and Economic Theory: Substitutes or Complements," NBER Technical Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  7. 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.
  8. Lewis, Karen K, 1991. "Why Doesn't Society Minimize Central Bank Secrecy?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 403-15, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Carl E. Walsh, 1998. "U.S. inflation targeting: pro and con," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may29.
  11. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1997. "What does the Bundesbank target?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1025-1053, June.
  12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  13. von Hagen, J, 1995. "Inflation and Monetary Targeting in Germany," Papers 03, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
  14. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Seonghwan Oh, 1990. "When and How Much to Talk: Credibility and Flexibility in Monetary Policy With Private Information," UCLA Economics Working Papers 593, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Walsh, Carl E, 1999. "Announcements, Inflation Targeting and Central Bank Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 255-69, May.
  16. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Cheap Talk and the Fed: A Theory of Imprecise Policy Announcements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 32-42, March.
  17. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  18. Walsh, Carl E, 1986. "In Defense of Base Drift," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 692-700, September.
  19. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, December.
  20. Clarida, Richard & GalĂ­, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. 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.
  22. Fischer, Stanley, 1990. "Rules versus discretion in monetary policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 1155-1184 Elsevier.
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