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Political Business Cycles and Central Bank Independence

  • John Maloney

    (University of Exeter)

  • Andrew C. Pickering

    (University of Bristol)

  • Kaddour Hadri

    (University of Liverpool)

This paper develops a dynamic model of Rational Partisan Business Cycles in which wage contracts overlap elections and wage setters have to make a prediction about the election result. Empirical analysis of 20 OECD countries supports the theoretical implication that left wing incumbents increase output, but increased expectation of a left wing regime reduces it. The model is extended to incorporate the effects of alternative measures of Central Bank Independence (CBI). The measure of objective independence outperforms the other measures and it is found that CBI reduces politically induced business cycles. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2003

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 113 (2003)
Issue (Month): 486 (March)
Pages: C167-C181

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:486:p:c167-c181
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  1. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
  2. Hadri, Kaddour & Lockwood, Ben & Maloney, John, 1998. "Does Central Bank Independence Smooth the Political Business Cycle in Inflation? Some OECD Evidence," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 66(4), pages 377-95, September.
  3. Roubini, Nouriel & Alesina, Alberto, 1992. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," Scholarly Articles 4553025, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Maloney, John & Andrew Pickering & Kaddour Hadri, 2002. "Which Type of Central Bank Smooths the Political Business Cycle?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 135, Royal Economic Society.
  5. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  6. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  7. Alesina, Alberto F & Roubini, Nouriel, 1990. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. John Maloney & Bernard Pearson & Andrew Pickering, 2001. "Behind the cube rule: implications of, and evidence against a fractal electoral geography," Discussion Papers 0103, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  9. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  10. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  12. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
  14. Forder, James, 1998. "Central Bank Independence--Conceptual Clarifications and Interim Assessment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 307-34, July.
  15. Kilponen, Juha & Mayes, David & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1999. "Labour Market Flexibility in Northern Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa088, European Regional Science Association.
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