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National representation in supranational institutions: The case of the European Central Bank

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  • Badinger, Harald
  • Nitsch, Volker

Abstract

Supranational institutions face an important trade-off when hiring personnel. On the one hand, hiring decisions are based, as in most organizations, on a candidate’s professional qualifications. On the other hand, supranational institutions often aim for broad national representation. Reviewing evidence from the European Central Bank, we show that nationality is indeed relevant for both hiring and decision-making. Specifically, we find a disproportionately narrow spread of national representation in the top management of the ECB. Further, there is evidence for the existence of national networks between adjacent management layers. Finally, monetary policy decisions seem to be linked to national representation in the core business areas of the ECB. Examining a sample of 27 European countries over the period from 1999 to 2008, we estimate Taylor rules for alternative sets of euro area aggregates derived from different weighting schemes of national macroeconomic data. Our results indicate that weights based on national representation in the mid-level management of the ECB’s core business areas best describe the central bank’s interest-rate setting behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Badinger, Harald & Nitsch, Volker, 2014. "National representation in supranational institutions: The case of the European Central Bank," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 19-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:42:y:2014:i:1:p:19-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2013.05.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2016. "Does A Good Central Banker Make A Difference?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1541-1560, July.
    2. Axel Dreher & Katharina Michaelowa, 2008. "The political economy of international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 331-334, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Organization; Central bank; Nationality; Monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration

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