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Traps in the Measurement of Independence and Accountability of Central Banks

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  • James Forder

Abstract

Measures of central banks` independence and central banks` accountability which are based on an interpretation of their statutes provide, in themselves, no guidance for the assessment of legislative proposals. In the effectiveness of monetary policy, the crucial considerations relate to how central banks and other policymakers behave. The pattern of incentives is not determined by the statutes, which may be wholly irrelevant, and therefore one cannot discover the effectiveness of policy by inspecting the statutes. On the other hand, an assessment of the democratic acceptability of an arrangement requires a normative argument. Depending on that argument, statutory characteristics may be the crucial ones, but for the assessment to be worthwhile, the argument must be explicit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 23.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:23

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Keywords: central bank independence; measurement problems; political accountability;

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  1. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
  2. Prast, Henriette M, 1996. "Commitment Rather Than Independence: An Institutional Design for Reducing the Inflationary Bias of Monetary Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 377-405.
  3. Chant, John F & Acheson, Keith, 1973. "Mythology and Central Banking," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 362-79.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  5. Forder, James, 1996. "On the Assessment and Implementation of 'Institutional' Remedies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 39-51, January.
  6. Forder, James, 1998. "The case for an independent European central bank: A reassessment of evidence and sources," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 53-71, February.
  7. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, January.
  8. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2007. "Will monetary policy become more of a science?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Aleksandra Maslowska, 2007. "Discussion on the Inconsistency of Central Bank Independence Measures," Discussion Papers 21, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  3. Aleksandra Maslowska, 2008. "Quest for the best: How to measure central bank independence and show its relation with inflation?," Discussion Papers 37, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  4. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2011. "Monetary Policy Strategy: Lessons From The Crisis," Chapters, European Central Bank.

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