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The persuasive power of a Committee Chairman: Arthur Burns and the FOMC

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  • Henry Chappell

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  • Rob McGregor
  • Todd Vermilyea

Abstract

This paper investigates persuasion as a means of influence for the Federal Reserve Chairman in meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Using textual records of FOMC meetings, federal funds rate targets have been recorded for Committee members who served in the Arthur Burns era (1970–1978). Results show that Burns-member differences in stated funds rate targets were lower when Burns made recommendations early in the meeting, consistent with the hypothesis that the Chairman is persuasive. Additional results show that members’ tendencies to respond to Burns's recommendations were related to their personal and political loyalties. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Chappell & Rob McGregor & Todd Vermilyea, 2007. "The persuasive power of a Committee Chairman: Arthur Burns and the FOMC," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 103-112, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:132:y:2007:i:1:p:103-112
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-9136-7
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-006-9136-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jerry L. Jordan, 2001. "Darryl Francis: maverick in the formulation of monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 17-22.
    2. Hakes, David R, 1990. "The Objectives and Priorities of Monetary Policy under Different Federal Reserve Chairmen," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(3), pages 327-337, August.
    3. Peek, Joe & Wilcox, James A, 1987. "Monetary Policy Regimes and the Reduced Form for Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(3), pages 273-291, August.
    4. Chappell, Henry W, Jr & McGregor, Rob Roy & Vermilyea, Todd, 2004. "Majority Rule, Consensus Building, and the Power of the Chairman: Arthur Burns and the FOMC," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 407-422, June.
    5. Henry W. Chappell, Jr. & Rob Roy McGregor & Todd A. Vermilyea, 2005. "Committee Decisions on Monetary Policy: Evidence from Historical Records of the Federal Open Market Committee," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033305, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Corporate culture and behaviour: A survey," DNB Working Papers 334, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Lähner, Tom, 2015. "Inconsistent voting behavior in the FOMC," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-546, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Eichler, Stefan & Lähner, Tom & Noth, Felix, 2016. "Regional Banking Instability and FOMC Voting," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145803, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Ellen E. Meade, 2010. "Is There a Limit on FOMC Dissents? Evidence from the Greenspan Era," Working Papers 2010-16, American University, Department of Economics.
    5. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2010. "Monetary Policy Committees: Meetings And Outcomes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 569-588, October.
    6. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2013. "Monetary policy decisions – comparing theory and “inside” information from MPC members," Working Paper 2013/03, Norges Bank.
    7. Hamza Bennani, 2012. "National influences inside the ECB: an assessment from central bankers' statements," Working Papers hal-00992646, HAL.
    8. Ansgar Belke & Barbara Schnurbein, 2012. "European monetary policy and the ECB rotation model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 289-323, April.
    9. Christian Aubin & Ibrahima Diouf & Dominique Pepin, 2010. "Inertie De La Politique Monétaire Dans La Zone Euro : Le Rôle De L'Hétérogénéité," Post-Print hal-00960030, HAL.
    10. Stefan Eichler & Tom Lähner, 2014. "Forecast dispersion, dissenting votes, and monetary policy preferences of FOMC members: the role of individual career characteristics and political aspects," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(3), pages 429-453, September.

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