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Independence Day for the “Old Lady? A Natural Experiment on the Implications of Central Bank Independence

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  • Jagjit S. Chadha
  • Peter Macmillan

    ()

  • Charles Nolan

    ()

Abstract

Central bank independence is widely thought be a sine qua non of a credible commitment to price stability. The surprise decision by the UK government to grant operational independence to the Bank of England in 1997 affords us a natural experiment with which to gauge the impact on the yield curve from the adoption of central bank independence. We document the extent to which the decision to grant independence was ‘news?and illustrate that the reduction in medium and long term nominal interest rates was some 50 basis points, which we show to be consistent with a sharp increase in policymaker’s aversion to inflation deviations from target. We suggest therefore central bank independence represents one of the clearest signals available to elected politicians about their preferences on the control of inflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200602.

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Date of creation: 15 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0602

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Keywords: Central bank independence; preferences; yield curve.;

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References

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  1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 5797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Laurence Ball, 1997. "Efficient Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robertson, D & Symons, J, 1994. "Five Weeks in the Life of the Pound. Interest Rates, Expectations and Sterling's Exit from the ERM," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 56(1), pages 1-12, February.
  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. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Tore Ellingsen & Ulf Soderstrom, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Market Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1594-1607, December.
  7. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  9. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1993. "Real Interest Rates and Index Linked Gilts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0181, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Cecchetti, Stephen G & McConnell, Margaret M & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel, 2002. "Policymakers' Revealed Preferences and the Output-Inflation Variability Trade-Off: Implications for the European System of Central Banks," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 596-618, Special I.
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Cited by:
  1. Chadha, J.S. & Holly, S., 2006. "Macroeconomic Models and the Yield Curve: An assessment of the Fit," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0640, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Jagjit Chadha & Sean Holly, 2006. "Macroeconomic Models and the Yield Curve," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 105, Society for Computational Economics.

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