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Independence Before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics and Central Bank Design

  • Andrew Hughes Hallett
  • Diana N. Weymark

The problem of monetary policy delegation is formulated as a two-stage game between the government and the central bank. In the first stage the government chooses the institutional design of the central bank. Monetary and fiscal policy are implemented in the second stage. When fiscal policy is taken into account, there is a continuum of combinations of central bank independence and conservatism that produce optimal outcomes. This indeterminacy is resolved by appealing to practical considerations. In particular, it is argued that full central bank independence facilitates the greatest degree of policy transparency and political coherence. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.

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

Volume (Year): 6 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:6:y:2005:i:1:p:1-21
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  1. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, June.
  2. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-97, May.
  3. Adam S. Posen, 1995. "Declarations Are Not Enough: Financial Sector Sources of Central Bank Independence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 253-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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  12. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco, 1998. "The Trade off between Central Bank Independence and Conservativeness," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 397-411, July.
  13. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
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  15. Dave Turner & Elena Seghezza, 1999. "Testing for a Common OECD Phillips Curve," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 219, OECD Publishing.
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  17. Fischer, Stanley, 1995. "Central-Bank Independence Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 201-06, May.
  18. Dixit, Avinash, 2001. "Games of monetary and fiscal interactions in the EMU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 589-613, May.
  19. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
  20. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana, 2002. "The Cost of Heterogeneity in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Rules and Discretion with Noncoordinated Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 619-30, October.
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