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Checks and balances, private information, and the credibility of monetary commitments

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  • Keefer, Philip
  • Stasavage, David

Abstract

The authors develop and test several new hypotheses about the anti-inflationary effect of central bank independence and exchange rate pegs in the context of different institutions and different degrees of citizen information about government policies. Theory provides strong reason to believe that while central bank independence will prove more effective as a commitment mechanism in countries where multiple players in government have veto power (checks and balances), the number of veto players will have no effect on the credibility of exchange rate pegs. Conversely, the authors argue that central bank independence does not solve the problems of commitment that arise when citizens are imperfectly informed about the contribution of government policy to inflation. Exchange rate pegs, however, mitigate these problems. The authors present extensive evidence from cross-country tests using newly developed data thatprovide strong support for their propositions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2542.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2542

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Keywords: Economic Stabilization; Economic Theory&Research; Macroeconomic Management; Environmental Economics&Policies; Financial Intermediation;

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References

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  1. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 211-21, April.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Cukierman, A. & Miller, G.P. & Neyapti, B., 2000. "Central Bank Rerform, Liberalization and Inflation in Transition Economies - an International Perspective," Papers 2000-19, Tel Aviv.
  6. Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Jonathan D. Ostry & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1980. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Working Papers 378, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 1794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1996. "Why Does Inflation Differ Across Countries?," NBER Working Papers 5540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David Romer, 1991. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Canavan, Chris & Tommasi, Mariano, 1997. "On the credibility of alternative exchange rate regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 101-122, October.
  14. Herrendorf, Berthold, 1999. "Transparency, reputation, and credibility under floating and pegged exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 31-50, October.
  15. Weingast, Barry R & Moran, Mark J, 1983. "Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 765-800, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Freytag & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Monetary Commitment, Institutional Constraints and Inflation: Empirical Evidence for OECD Countries since the 1970s," CESifo Working Paper Series 2001, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Leonid Polishchuk & Georgiy Syunyaev, 2013. "Ruling elites' rotation and asset ownership: Implications for property rights," HSE Working papers WP BRP 43/EC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  3. Hossain, Monzur, 2009. "Institutional development and the choice of exchange rate regime: A cross-country analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 56-70, March.
  4. Down Ian, 2009. "Central Bank Independence, Disinflations and Monetary Policy," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 1-22, January.
  5. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Haan, Jakob de, 2010. "When is a central bank governor replaced? Evidence based on a new data set," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 766-781, September.
  6. Thomas D. Willett, 2001. "The Political Economy of External Discipline: Constraint Versus Incentive Effects of Capital Mobility and Exchange Rate Pegs," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-29, Claremont Colleges.
  7. Christian Fahrholz, 2003. "Strategic Exchange-Rate Policy of Accession Countries in ERM II," Eastward Enlargement of the Euro-zone Working Papers wp14, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, revised 01 Apr 2003.
  8. Dalla Pellegrina, L. & Masciandaro, D. & Pansini, R.V., 2013. "The central banker as prudential supervisor: Does independence matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 415-427.
  9. Cristina Bodea, 2013. "Independent central banks, regime type, and fiscal performance: the case of post-communist countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 81-107, April.

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