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Determinants of Trust in the European Central Bank

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  • Justina Fischer
  • Volker Hahn

Abstract

In this paper we study the determinants of citizens’ trust in the European Central Bank during the start-up phase from 1999-2004. Using a country panel based on the Eurobarometer survey, we find that higher inflation rates reduce trust. Thus people appear to evaluate the performance of the ECB on the basis of its success in achieving its primary objective, namely price stability. However, national income also has a strong impact, which poses a dilemma to the ECB, as it cannot increase economic growth in the long run. Unemployment does not have a significant impact on trust in the ECB, while unemployment spending exerts a trust-building impact. Possibly, automatic stabilizers serve as substitutes for ECB interventions, which would lower people’s trust. Interestingly, active labor market policies, which can be interpreted as proxies for the public’s perception of the urgency of the problem of high unemployment, tend to decrease trust.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 26.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0026

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Keywords: ECB; trust; European Union; Eurobarometer; panel data; behavioral economics;

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References

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  1. Benno Torgler, 2007. "Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 213, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  2. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, 02.
  3. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
  4. Herrendorf, Berthold & Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Rogoff's "Conservative" Central Banker Restored," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 476-95, November.
  5. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  7. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Wälti, Sébastien, 2012. "Trust no more? The impact of the crisis on citizens’ trust in central banks," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 593-605.
  2. van der Cruijsen, Carin A.B. & Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W., 2010. "From actual to perceived transparency: The case of the European Central Bank," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 388-399, June.
  3. Ehrmann, Michael & Soudan, Michel & Stracca, Livio, 2012. "Explaining EU Citizens' Trust in the ECB in Normal and Crisis Times," Economics Series 289, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  4. Bernd Hayo & Edith Neuenkirch, 2013. "The German Public and its Trust in the ECB: The Role of Knowledge and Information Search," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201347, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  5. Zohal Hessami, 2011. "What Determines Trust in International Organizations?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-44, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  6. Hessami, Zohal, 2011. "What determines trust in international organizations? An empirical analysis for the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO," MPRA Paper 34550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Bursian, Dirk & Fürth, Sven, 2013. "Trust me! I am a European Central Banker," SAFE Working Paper Series 31, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.

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