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Optimal Monetary Policy Committee Size: Theory and Cross Country Evidence

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  • Szilárd Erhart
  • Jose Luis Vasquez-Paz

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical studies of different sciences suggest that an optimal committee consists of roughly 5-9 members, although it can swell mildly under specific circumstances. This paper develops a conceptual model in order to analyze the issue in case of monetary policy formulation. The optimal monetary policy committee (MPC) size varies according to the uncertainty of MPC members’ information influenced by the size of the monetary zone and overall economic stability. Our conceptual model is backed up with econometric evidence using a survey of 85 countries. The MPC size of large monetary zones (EMU, USA, Japan) is close to the estimated optimal level, but there exist several smaller countries with too many or too few MPC members.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers with number 439.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieasw:439

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  1. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2001. "Boards of Directors as an Endogenously Determined Institution: A Survey of the Economic Literature," NBER Working Papers 8161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Helge Berger, 2006. "Optimal central bank design: Benchmarks for the ECB," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 207-235, September.
  3. Clare Lombardelli & James Proudman & James Talbot, 2002. "Committees versus individuals: an experimental analysis of monetary policy decision-making," Bank of England working papers 165, Bank of England.
  4. Gabel, Matthew J. & Shipan, Charles R., 2004. "A social choice approach to expert consensus panels," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 543-564, May.
  5. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
  6. Anne Sibert, 2006. "Central Banking by Committee," DNB Working Papers 091, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  7. Gerlach-Kristen, Petra, 2006. "Monetary policy committees and interest rate setting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 487-507, February.
  8. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2001. "Are Two Heads Better Than One?: An Experimental Analysis of Group vs. Individual Decisionmaking," Working Papers 130, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  9. JoAnne Morris & Tonny Lybek, 2004. "Central Bank Governance," IMF Working Papers 04/226, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Berk, J.M. & Bierut, B.K., 2003. "Committee structure and its implications for monetary policy decision-making," Serie Research Memoranda 0006, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  11. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
  12. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
  13. Helge Berger & Tonny Lybek & Volker Nitsch, 2006. "Central Bank Boards Around the World," IMF Working Papers 06/281, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 2008. "Making Monetary Policy by Committee," Working Papers 1051, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Szilárd Erhart & Harmen Lehment & Jose L. Vasquez Paz, 2007. "Monetary Policy Committee Size and Inflation Volatility," Kiel Working Papers 1377, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Riboni, Alessandro & Ruge-Murcia, Francesco, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee : Consensus, Chairman Dominance or Simple Majority ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7683, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
  6. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Too many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2274, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Horvath, Roman & Rusnak, Marek & Smidkova, Katerina & Zapal, Jan, 2011. "Dissent voting behavior of central bankers: what do we really know?," MPRA Paper 34638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jung, Alexander & Kiss, Gergely, 2012. "Preference heterogeneity in the CEE inflation-targeting countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 445-460.
  9. Alan S. Blinder, 2007. "On the Design of Monetary Policy Committees," Working Papers 1030, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..

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