Independent Central Banks: Some theoretical and empirical problems?
AbstractIn little more than twenty years, it has become widely accepted that the optimal design of monetary policy should include provision for a central bank that is independent of government influence. This is a remarkably short period of time for any idea in economics to become so widely-accepted. But there are problems. In this paper we show that there are many confusions and even some contradictions associated with central bank independence. To begin with, it is not entirely clear what it is exactly that central banks need to be independent of. Furthermore, there is confusion over the mechanisms whereby independence is supposed to deliver its benefits. The literature which is commonly said to provide the rationale for independence is often misunderstood and the evidence that independence does in fact enhance policy outcomes is extremely weak.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol in its series Working Papers with number 0908.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY
Phone: 0117 328 3610
Web page: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/bl/research/bristoleconomics.aspx
More information through EDIRC
independent central banks;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
- E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-06-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2009-06-17 (Central Banking)
- NEP-HPE-2009-06-17 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2009-06-17 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MON-2009-06-17 (Monetary Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2009-06-17 (Post Keynesian Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W, 2000.
"Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W, 2001. " Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 3-40, February.
- Bevger, H. & Haan, J. de & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2000. "Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-82768, Tilburg University.
- Bennett T. McCallum, 1996.
"Crucial Issues Concerning Central Bank Independence,"
NBER Working Papers
5597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
- Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985.
"Inflation and Reputation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 530-38, June.
- Mourmouras, Iannis A., 1997. "On Wage Indexing, Policy Credibility and Inflation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 19-30, January.
- Adam Posen, 1995.
"Central bank independence and disinflationary credibility: a missing link?,"
1, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Posen, Adam, 1998. "Central Bank Independence and Disinflationary Credibility: A Missing Link?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 335-59, July.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1984.
"Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
- Charles Freedman, 1996. "What operating procedures should be adopted to maintain price stability? practical issues," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 241-285.
- Goodhart, Charles A E & Huang, Haizhou, 1998. "Time Inconsistency in a Model with Lags, Persistence, and Overlapping Wage Contracts," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 378-96, July.
- Peter Stella, 2008. "Central Bank Financial Strength, Policy Constraints and Inflation," IMF Working Papers 08/49, International Monetary Fund.
- Forder, James, 1998. "Central Bank Independence--Conceptual Clarifications and Interim Assessment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 307-34, July.
- Giuseppe Diana & MoÏse Sidiropoulos, 2006. "Central Bank Independence and the Cost of Disinflation: Why the Wage Contracts Length Matters?," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 287-297, August.
- James Forder, 2003. "'Independence' and the founding of the Federal Reserve," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(3), pages 297-310, 08.
- Acheson, Keith & Chant, John F, 1973. "Bureaucratic Theory and the Choice of Central Bank Goals," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 637-55, May.
- Peter Stella & Ulrich H. Klueh, 2008. "Central Bank Financial Strength and Policy Performance: An Econometric Evaluation," IMF Working Papers 08/176, International Monetary Fund.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Felix Ritchie).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.