IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/ecopln/v45y2012i4p271-297.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Explicit inflation targets and central bank independence: friends or foes?

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Hallett

    ()

  • Jan Libich

    ()

Abstract

The paper studies the relationship between two institutional innovations in monetary policy of the past few decades: central bank independence (CBI) and explicit inflation targeting (EIT). The aim is to make inferences about the optimal institutional design of monetary policy, and the right sequencing of policy reform. Our reduced-form model unifies several approaches in the literature, and offers three novel institutional findings (that we square with existing empirical evidence). First, instrument-CBI is a complement to EIT, whereas goal-CBI acts as a strategic substitute for EIT in ensuring low inflation and policy credibility. Second, out of these two ‘commitment technologies,’ EIT is shown to be socially superior to goal-CBI. Third and controversially, countries that first implement goal-CBI are then less likely to adopt the desirable EIT regime. This is because independent central bankers may have less need to do so (their independence partly substitutes for EIT), as well as less willingness to do so (due to a higher degree of accountability associated with a transparently legislated target). Our analysis therefore implies that developing and emerging market countries should go down the New Zealand route—legislate EIT together with instrument-CBI, but stay clear of goal-CBI. Unfortunately, many transition countries have followed the opposite Fed/Bundesbank route, which we show may have adverse welfare consequences through several channels. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Hallett & Jan Libich, 2012. "Explicit inflation targets and central bank independence: friends or foes?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 271-297, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ecopln:v:45:y:2012:i:4:p:271-297
    DOI: 10.1007/s10644-011-9118-8
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10644-011-9118-8
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2007. "Central Bank transparency in theory and practice," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 760-789, December.
    4. Luke Byrne Willard, 2012. "Does inflation targeting matter? A reassessment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(17), pages 2231-2244, June.
    5. Corbo, Vittorio & Landerretche, Oscar & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 2001. "Assessing Inflation Targeting after a Decade of World Experience," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 343-368, October.
    6. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-397, May.
    7. Eijffinger, Sylvester & Schaling, Eric & Hoeberichts, Marco, 1998. "Central bank independence: A sensitivity analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 73-88, February.
    8. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    9. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    10. Mervyn Allister King, 1998. "The Inflation Target Five Years On," FMG Special Papers sp99, Financial Markets Group.
    11. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1998. "A Theory of Central Bank Accountability," Discussion Paper 1998-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    12. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2002. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 520-539, May.
    13. Jordan, Thomas J., 1999. "Central bank independence and the sacrifice ratio," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 229-255, June.
    14. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
    15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Pablo Querubin & James A. Robinson, 2008. "When Does Policy Reform Work? The Case of Central Bank Independence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 351-429.
    16. Olivier Blanchard, 2009. "The State of Macro," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 209-228, May.
    17. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    18. Miguel A Savastano & Paul R Masson & Sunil Sharma, 1997. "The Scope for Inflation Targeting in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/130, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    20. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
    21. Marvin Goodfriend, 2004. "Inflation Targeting in the United States?," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 311-352 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Forder, James, 1998. "The case for an independent European central bank: A reassessment of evidence and sources," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 53-71, February.
    23. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2002. "Does it pay to be transparent? international evidence form central bank forecasts," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 99-118.
    24. Feige, Edgar L & Pearce, Douglas K, 1976. "Economically Rational Expectations: Are Innovations in the Rate of Inflation Independent of Innovations in Measures of Monetary and Fiscal Policy?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(3), pages 499-522, June.
    25. David Backus & John Driffill, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 211-221.
    26. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
    27. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana N., 2004. "Independent monetary policies and social equity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 103-110, October.
    28. Hayo, Bernd, 1998. "Inflation culture, central bank independence and price stability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 241-263, May.
    29. Carl E. Walsh, 2009. "Inflation Targeting: What Have We Learned?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 195-233, August.
    30. Libich, Jan, 2009. "A Note On The Anchoring Effect Of Explicit Inflation Targets," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 685-697, November.
    31. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    32. Forder, James, 1998. "Central Bank Independence--Conceptual Clarifications and Interim Assessment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 307-334, July.
    33. 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.
    34. Forder, James, 2000. "Central Bank Independence and Credibility: Is There a Shred of Evidence?: Review," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 167-185, April.
    35. repec:pri:cepsud:120willard is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    37. Hayo, Bernd & Hefeker, Carsten, 2002. "Reconsidering central bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 653-674, November.
    38. de Jong, Eelke, 2002. "Why are price stability and statutory independence of central banks negatively correlated? The role of culture," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 675-694, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mohammad Abdul Munim Joarder & A. K. M. Nurul Hossain & Monir Uddin Ahmed, 2016. "Does the central bank contribute to the political monetary cycles in Bangladesh?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 365-394, November.
    2. Marco Hoeberichts & Mewael F. Tesfaselassie & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2009. "Central bank communication and output stabilization," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 395-411, April.
    3. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich & Petr Stehlík, 2011. "Welfare Improving Coordination of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 5(1), pages 007-026, March.
    4. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction with Various Degrees and Types of Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.
    6. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions with central bank transparency and public investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 195-208, September.
    7. Meixing Dai & Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2010. "Accountability And Transparency About Central Bank Preferences For Model Robustness," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(2), pages 212-237, May.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutional reform; Transition economies; Explicit inflation targeting; Central bank independence; Transparency; Accountability; Credibility; Monitoring; Reputation; E52; E61; C72;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:ecopln:v:45:y:2012:i:4:p:271-297. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.