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Consensus Formation in Monetary Policy Committees

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Author Info

  • Christopher Spencer

    (University of Surrey)

Abstract

Building on Blinder and Wyplosz (2005) this paper presents a formal mechanism which potentially explains how autocratically collegiate, genuinely collegiate and individualistic monetary policy committees (MPCs) are able to reach a consensus. Drawing on the theory of Markov chains, I adopt a bounded-rational approach, and demonstrate how individuals are able to forge agreement, even when interest rate preferences are initially diverse. I show how consensus is reached when (i) career concerns are present and (ii) when members hold different opinions about the usefulness of others’ information. An overriding conclusion which emerges is that it is possible to populate MPCs with people who hold very different views about the economy and still reach an agreement. Further, although MPCs should be populated by people who are willing to listen to the opinions of others, the degree to which members are willing to listen to each other has ramifications for the type of decision which is reached.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 1505.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1505

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Related research

Keywords: Monetary Policy Committee; consensus formation; bounded-rationality;

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References

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  1. Robert Aebi & Klaus Neusser & Peter Steiner, 2006. "A Large Deviation Approach to the Measurement of Mobility," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(II), pages 195-222, June.
  2. Peter M. Demarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2003. "Persuasion Bias, Social Influence, And Unidimensional Opinions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 909-968, August.
  3. Peter M. deMarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2000. "A Model of Persuasion - With Implications for Financial Markets," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1635, Econometric Society.
  4. Chappell, Henry W, Jr & McGregor, Rob Roy & Vermilyea, Todd, 2004. "Majority Rule, Consensus Building, and the Power of the Chairman: Arthur Burns and the FOMC," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 407-22, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2008. "The Role of the Chairman in Setting Monetary Policy: Individualistic vs. Autocratically Collegial MPCs," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(3), pages 119-143, September.
  2. Christopher Spencer, 2006. "The Dissent Voting Behaviour of Bank of England MPC Members," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0306, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  3. Maurin, Vincent & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2012. "Monetary policy deliberations: committee size and voting rules," Working Paper Series 1434, European Central Bank.

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