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The effect of diverging communication: The case of the ECB and the Bundesbank


  • Tillmann, Peter
  • Walter, Andreas


When members of monetary policy committees communicate with the public, the resulting cacophony of voices is often considered a source of confusion. We associate each speech delivered by the presidents of the ECB and the Bundesbank since 2008 with a tone score and construct a measure of diverging tone. Shocks to the tone divergence between the Eurosystem’s main protagonists drive volatility, policy uncertainty and risk premia.

Suggested Citation

  • Tillmann, Peter & Walter, Andreas, 2019. "The effect of diverging communication: The case of the ECB and the Bundesbank," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 68-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:176:y:2019:i:c:p:68-74
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2018.12.035

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-249, April.
    2. Peter Tillmann & Andreas Walter, 2018. "ECB vs Bundesbank: Diverging Tones and Policy Effectiveness," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201820, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Geiger, Felix & Schupp, Fabian, 2018. "With a little help from my friends: Survey-based derivation of euro area short rate expectations at the effective lower bound," Discussion Papers 27/2018, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    4. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
    5. Jing Cynthia Wu & Fan Dora Xia, 2016. "Measuring the Macroeconomic Impact of Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 253-291, March.
    6. Tim Loughran & Bill Mcdonald, 2011. "When Is a Liability Not a Liability? Textual Analysis, Dictionaries, and 10‐Ks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 35-65, February.
    7. Wu, Wenbin, 2016. "Are financial markets less responsive to monetary policy shocks at the zero lower bound?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 258-261.
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    Cited by:

    1. Armelius, Hanna & Bertsch, Christoph & Hull, Isaiah & Zhang, Xin, 2020. "Spread the Word: International spillovers from central bank communication," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).

    More about this item


    Central bank communication; Diverging tone; Speeches; Text analysis; Monetary transmission;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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