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Transparency of Central Bank Preferences

  • Volker Hahn

In this paper, we examine whether the transparency of the central bank's preferences is desirable. We make two major points. First, in the literature on preference transparency variance-reduction frameworks are often adopted. As a consequence a change in the degree of transparency affects the magnitude of information asymmetries, but at the same time it implies a rather arbitrary effect on the distribution of preferences. We present a clean framework without this problem. Second, using a very general specification of shocks to the central bank's preferences, we show that society prefers transparency if it sufficiently values the employment target, whereas it prefers opacity if it estimates inflation as sufficiently important. Copyright 2008 The Author. Journal Compilation Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 10 (2009)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: 32-49

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:10:y:2009:i::p:32-49
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  1. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  2. Hahn, Volker & Gersbach, Hans, 2001. "Should the Individual Voting Records of Central Bankers be Published?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
  4. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2002. "Independence Before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics, and Central Bank Design," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0202, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Faust, John, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Seminar Papers 636, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Jensen, Henrik, 2002. " Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
  7. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1997. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers : Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Discussion Paper 1997-47, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Jensen, Henrik, 2003. " Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 129-36, February.
  9. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  10. Geraats, Petra Maria, 2001. "Precommitment, Transparency and Monetary Policy," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  11. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  12. Eijffinger, Sylvester & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2003. " Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique: Reply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 137-39, February.
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