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Central bank independence, fiscal deficits and currency union: Lessons from Africa

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  • Strong, Christine
  • Yayi, Constant

Abstract

Can central bank independence (CBI) help to reduce fiscal balances? In this paper, we answer this question using novel measures of CBI based on the turnover rate of central bank governors (TOR) and the Garriga measure of legal independence for 30 African countries for the period 1990–2017. Our novel measures of CBI capture the degree of alliance between the fiscal authority and the monetary authority which can potentially lead to debt monetization and higher fiscal balances. Thus, we classify central bank governor changes into ally changes or non-ally changes; in addition to that, we decompose our full sample into CFA zone countries and non-CFA zone countries to capture the effect of currency union membership. Our results show that for CFA zone countries, central bank autonomy, when proxied by the turnover rate of central bank governors, is associated with a decrease in fiscal balances and replacing a central banker with a non-ally, is negatively and significantly associated with fiscal balances.

Suggested Citation

  • Strong, Christine & Yayi, Constant, 2021. "Central bank independence, fiscal deficits and currency union: Lessons from Africa," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:68:y:2021:i:c:s0164070421000239
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2021.103313
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central bank independence; Central bank governors; Fiscal deficit; Ally; CFA zone;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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