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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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  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. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M., 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/27, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Maria Demertzis & Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2004. "Central bank transparency in theory and practice," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 23, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  4. 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, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  7. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2004. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 10807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Carin van der Cruijsen & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2007. "The economic impact of central bank transparency: a survey," DNB Working Papers 132, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  9. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 13-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. N. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Central Bank Transparency: Where, Why, and with What Effects?," NBER Working Papers 13003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Geraats, P.M., 2005. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0543, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  15. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, 02.
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Cited by:
  1. Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoogduin, L.H., 2010. "Optimal Central Bank transparency," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4163962, Tilburg University.
  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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