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Do We Really Need Central Bank Independence? A Critical Re- examination

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Author Info

  • Bernd Hayo

    (Georgetown University & University of Bonn)

  • Carsten Hefeker

    (University of Basel)

Abstract

In this survey, we critically review the argument for central bank independence (CBI). We argue CBI is neither necessary nor sufficient for reaching monetary stability. First, CBI is just one potentially useful monetary policy design instrument among several. Second, CBI should not be treated as an exogenous variable, but instead attention should be devoted to the question of why central banks are made independent. CBI is chosen by countries under specific circumstances, which are related to their legal, political, and economic systems. Third, in a number of empirical studies, researchers found CBI is correlated with low inflation rates. By taking the endogeneity of CBI into account, however, there is no reason to believe the correlation between CBI and low inflation tells us anything about causality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0103006.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 21 Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0103006

Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; pages: 31
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Central bank independence; monetary policy;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Hayo & Stefan Voigt, 2005. "Inflation, Central Bank Independence and the Legal System," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 57, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  2. Erixon, Lennart, 2011. "Under the influence of traumatic events, new ideas, economic experts and the ICT revolution - the economic policy and macroeconomic performance of Sweden in the 1990s and 2000s," Research Papers in Economics 2011:25, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  3. Stefan Voigt, 2009. "Positive Constitutional Economics II—A Survey of Recent Developments," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200936, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  4. Donato Masciandaro & Marc Quintyn & Michael Taylor, 2008. "Financial Supervisory Independence and Accountability-Exploring the Determinants," IMF Working Papers 08/147, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Marc Quintyn, 2009. "Independent agencies: more than a cheap copy of independent central banks?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 267-295, September.

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