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Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour

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  • Helge Berger
  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

Empirical studies crediting 'independent and conservative central banks' with lowering inflation and inflation volatility have been criticised for their focus on policy outcomes instead of policies, and for their unsystematic conflation of independence and conservatism. We present results from time-series models for the German Bundesbank that avoid these shortfalls. Conservatism matters in the following sense: ("i" ) more conservative Bundesbank Councils tend to react stronger to changes in inflation and output, and ("ii" ) an increase in conservatism leads to a more activist stabilisation policy. This is in line with simple policy models incorporating economic persistence with implementation lags for monetary policy. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Helge Berger & Ulrich Woitek, 2005. "Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 745-766, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:505:p:745-766
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Moser & Axel Dreher, 2010. "Do Markets Care about Central Bank Governor Changes? Evidence from Emerging Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(8), pages 1589-1612, December.
    2. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 433-449, March.
    3. Debortoli, Davide & Maih, Junior & Nunes, Ricardo, 2014. "Loose Commitment In Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Models: Theory And Applications," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 175-198, January.
    4. Etienne Farvaque & Piotr Stanek & Stéphane Vigeant, 2014. "On the Performance of Monetary Policy Committees," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 177-203, May.
    5. Hefeker, Carsten & Zimmer, Blandine, 2011. "The optimal choice of central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 595-606.
    6. Ansgar Belke & Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Does Government Ideology Matter in Monetary Policy? – A Panel Data Analysis for OECD Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0094, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Belke, Ansgar & Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Does government ideology matter in monetary policy? A panel data analysis for OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1126-1139.
    8. Conrad, Christian & Hartmann, Matthias, 2014. "Cross-sectional evidence on the relation between monetary policy, macroeconomic conditions and low-frequency inflation uncertainty," Working Papers 0574, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    9. Berlemann, Michael & Hilscher, Kai, 2010. "Effective monetary policy conservatism: A comparison of 11 OECD countries," HWWI Research Papers 2-21, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    10. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Is German domestic social policy politically controversial?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 393-418, December.
    11. Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(2), pages 69-101, July.
    12. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2010. "Central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty: Substitutes or complements?," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 140-10, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    13. Berlemann, Michael & Hielscher, Kai, 2011. "A Time-varying Indicator of Effective Monetary Policy Conservatism," Working Paper 112/2011, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
    14. repec:zbw:rwirep:0094 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Michael Berlemann & Kai Hielscher, 2016. "Measuring Effective Monetary Policy Conservatism of Central Banks: A Dynamic Approach," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 17(1), pages 105-132, May.
    16. Berlemann, Michael & Hielscher, Kai, 2009. "Measuring Effective Monetary Policy Conservatism," Working Paper 89/2009, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
    17. Cleomar Gomes da silva & Flavio V. Vieira, 2016. "Monetary policy decision making: the role of ideology, institutions and central bank independence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 2051-2062.
    18. Michael Berlemann & Kai Hielscher, 2013. "Effective Monetary Policy Conservatism: A Comparison of 13 OECD Countries," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(3), pages 267-290, July.

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