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Central Bank independence: Low inflation at no cost? A numerical simulations exercise

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  • Demertzis, Maria

Abstract

The independent nature of the Central Bank is often associated with achieving low and stable inflation. Further to that the merits of independence are stretched to achieving low(er) output variability when compared to a government run monetary policy. In this paper we use the Alesina and Alesina and Gatti model to examine how often an Independent Central Bank can achieve an improvement on both counts. To do that we run numerical simulations where we change the ex ante probability of elections (and hence the degree of electoral uncertainty) with a view to determining how the private sector's perceptions affect the level of output variability. Our conclusions agree with the Alesina and Gatti assertion that there will exist occasions that both political parties will consent to the running of monetary policy by an independent institution but that is the least often occurred outcome. On theoretical grounds therefore, the trade-off between inflation and output variability (à la Rogoff) is still a valid one.
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  • Demertzis, Maria, 2004. "Central Bank independence: Low inflation at no cost? A numerical simulations exercise," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 661-677, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:26:y:2004:i:4:p:661-677
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    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Viegi, Nicola, 2004. "An independent central bank faced with elected governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 907-922, November.
    3. Cukierman, A., 1996. "The Economics of Central Banking," Discussion Paper 1996-31, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Melitz, Jacques, 1997. "Some Cross-Country Evidence about Debt, Deficits and the Behaviour of Monetary and Fiscal Authorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Crosby, Mark, 1998. "Central bank independence and output variability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 67-75, July.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
    7. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    8. 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 151-162, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferré, Montserrat & Manzano, Carolina, 2014. "Rational Partisan Theory with fiscal policy and an independent central bank," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 27-37.
    2. Ferré Carracedo, Montserrat & Manzano, Carolina, 2013. "Independent Central Banks: Low inflation at no cost?: A model with fiscal policy," Working Papers 2072/222196, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    3. Patricio Jaramillo & Juan Carlos Piantini, 2008. "Multimodality Test and Mixture Distributions: An Application to the Central Bank Expectation Survey," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 489, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Viegi, Nicola, 2004. "An independent central bank faced with elected governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 907-922, November.
    5. Athina Zervoyianni & Athanasios Anastasiou & Andreas Anastasiou, 2014. "Does central bank independence really matter? Re-assessing the role of the independence of monetary policy-makers in macroeconomic outcomes," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(4), pages 427-473.
    6. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Maria Demertzis, "undated". "When can an Independent Central Bank offer lower Inflation at no Cost? A Political Economy Analysis," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    7. Christoph S. Weber, 2017. "The Unemployment Effect of Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers 172, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

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