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La Banque centrale et l'Union monétaire européennes : les tribulations de la crédibilité

  • Jérôme Creel
  • Jacky Fayolle

La création de l’Union monétaire européenne confère une dimension expérimentale à l’acquisition de la crédibilité par une banque centrale et à sa mise à l’épreuve. Les modèles théoriques qui fondent la notion de crédibilité réduisent la configuration institutionnelle à un schéma très simple et l’évaluation collective de cette crédibilité est réduite à l’opinion moyenne des marchés financiers. Aussi, nous procédons à quelques variations sur un thème de Barro et Gordon (1983). Alors que dans ce modèle, les salariés fixent le salaire nominal avant que l’inflation soit effective, ici, les marchés financiers fixent le taux d’intérêt de long terme de telle façon qu’il égalise l’offre et la demande agrégée de biens. Pour être crédible, la banque centrale devra viser une inflation très faible pendant une longue période afin de faire converger les anticipations des marchés vers un niveau bas d’inflation. Si on projette ces raisonnements sur l’expérience européenne, on peut craindre qu’ils ne confortent l’idée d’un penchant restrictif de la BCE. Ce modèle est éclairant à un second titre : il peut engendrer des équilibres multiples, sources de problèmes de coordination entre agents pour définir un équilibre qui fasse l’objet d’un accord commun. Pour échapper à ces problèmes, la cohérence temporelle de l’action de la BCE, c’est-à-dire une articulation harmonieuse des objectifs et règles de long terme avec une action conjoncturelle adaptée aux circonstances, nécessite la coopération effective des diverses institutions en charge de la politique économique européenne. L’insertion plus franche de la BCE dans un réseau institutionnel qui active les obligations de motivation et de responsabilité auxquelles elle devrait satisfaire contribuerait à clarifier l’horizon qui gouverne ses décisions. De plus, à cause de l’hétérogénéité encore dominante de la zone euro, la BCE peut difficilement se passer d’une représentation de l’économie européenne qui soit plus « structurelle » que « monét

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Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): n° 83 bis (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 211-244

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_074_0211
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.cairn.info/revue-de-l-ofce.htm

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