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Actual versus Perceived Transparency: The Case of the European Central Bank

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  • Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der
  • Eijffinger, S.C.W.

    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

Central banks have become more and more transparent about their monetary policy making process. In the central bank transparency literature the distinction between actual and perceived transparency is often lacking. However, as perceptions are crucial for the actions of economic agents this distinction matters. We investigate the mismatch between actual and perceived transparency and its relevance by analyzing data of a Dutch household survey on the European Central Bank's transparency. A discrepancy between actual and perceived transparency exists because of incomplete and incorrect transparency knowledge and other (psychological) factors. We find that respondents with relatively high transparency perceptions are more likely to have more trust in the ECB and better alligned inflation perceptions and expectations. Therefore, it might be beneficial for a central bank to increase transparency perceptions, either by improving its actual disclosure practices or by focusing on its transparency strengths in its communicationpolicy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University in its series Open Access publications from Tilburg University with number urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-357920.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-357920

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Web page: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/

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References

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  1. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-172467, Tilburg University.
  2. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessi, 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," DNB Working Papers 146, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  3. M. Demertzis & A. Hughes Hallet, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 704, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  5. Jakob de Haan & Sylvester C. W. Eijffinger & Sandra Waller, 2005. "The European Central Bank: Credibility, Transparency, and Centralization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262042266, January.
  6. Geraats, P.M., 2005. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0543, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, 02.
  8. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2005. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2661-2700, December.
  9. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  10. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  11. Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2007. "The Economic Impact of Central Bank Transparency: A Survey," Discussion Paper 2007-06, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  13. Céline Christensen & Peter Els & Maarten Rooij, 2006. "Dutch Households’ Perceptions of Economic Growth and Inflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 277-294, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Carin A.B. van der Cruijsen & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger & Lex H. Hoogduin, 2008. "Optimal Central Bank Transparency," DNB Working Papers 178, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Federica Teppa & Corrie Vis, 2012. "The CentERpanel and the DNB Household Survey: Methodological Aspects," DNB Occasional Studies 1004, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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