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The Limits of Transparency

  • Alex Cukierman

This paper probes the limits of transparency in monetary policymaking along two dimensions: feasibility and desirability. It argues that, due to limited knowledge about the economy, even central banks (CBs) that are considered champions of openness are not very clear about their measurement of the output gap and about their beliefs regarding the effect of policy on inflationary expectations. Consequently, feasibility constraints on transparency are more serious than stylized models of the transmission mechanism would imply. In addition, no CB has made clear statements about its objective function, including in particular the relative weight on output versus inflation stabilization, the policy discount factor and the shape of losses from the inflation and the output gaps over the possible ranges of realizations of those variables. Copyright 2009 The Author Journal compilation 2009 Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA.

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Article provided by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA in its journal Economic Notes.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (02)
Pages: 1-37

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecnote:v:38:y:2009:i:1-2:p:1-37
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