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Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union

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  • HANS GERSBACH
  • VOLKER HAHN

Abstract

We examine whether the monetary policy committee of a monetary union should publish its voting records when members are appointed by national politicians. We show that the publication of voting records lowers overall welfare. This finding also holds for arbitrary levels of private benefits from holding office and if governments incur costs when replacing committee members. High private benefits of committee members always lower overall welfare, as they induce nonpartisan members to care more about being reappointed than about beneficial policy outcomes. Nonrenewable but long terms for national committee members and delegating the appointment of all committee members to a union-wide authority would be desirable. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2009. "Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 831-853, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:5:p:831-853
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2004. "Voting Transparency, Conflicting Interests, And The Appointment Of Central Bankers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16, pages 321-345, November.
    2. Mike Felgenhauer & Hans Peter Grüner, 2008. "Committees and Special Interests," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 219-243, April.
    3. Christopher J. Waller, 2000. "Policy Boards and Policy Smoothing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 305-339.
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    5. Meade, Ellen E & Sheets, D Nathan, 2005. "Regional Influences on FOMC Voting Patterns," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 661-677, August.
    6. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
    7. Friedrich Heinemann & Felix P. Huefner, 2004. "Is The View From The Eurotower Purely European? - National Divergence And Ecb Interest Rate Policy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(4), pages 544-558, September.
    8. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
    9. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
    10. Waller, Christopher J & Walsh, Carl E, 1996. "Central-Bank Independence, Economic Behavior, and Optimal Term Lengths," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1139-1153, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2015. "Monetary dialogue 2009–2014 : Looking backward, looking forward," Other publications TiSEM b4d496af-6b5e-4290-9acd-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Hahn, Volker, 2016. "Designing monetary policy committees," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 47-67.
    3. Hahn, Volker, 2017. "Committee design with endogenous participation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 388-408.
    4. Petra M. Geraats, 2006. "Transparency of Monetary Policy: Theory and Practice," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 111-152, March.
    5. Ellen E. Meade, 2010. "Federal Reserve Transcript Publication And Regional Representation," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(2), pages 162-170, April.
    6. Belke, Ansgar, 2017. "Central bank communication: Managing expectations through the monetary dialogue," Ruhr Economic Papers 692, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Ellen Meade, 2006. "Dissent and Disagreement on the Fed's FOMC: Understanding Regional Affiliations and limits to Transparency," DNB Working Papers 094, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    8. Bernd Hayo & Ummad Mazhar, 2014. "Monetary Policy Committee Transparency: Measurement, Determinants, and Economic Effects," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 739-770, September.
    9. Alex Cukierman, 2009. "The Limits of Transparency," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-37, February.
    10. Esteban Colla de Robertis, 2010. "Monetary Policy Committees and the Decision to Publish Voting Records," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 97-139, July-Dece.
    11. Carin van der Cruijsen & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2007. "The economic impact of central bank transparency: a survey," DNB Working Papers 132, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    12. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2015. "Optimal Conservatism and Collective Monetary Policymaking under Uncertainty," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 259-278, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Volker Hahn, 2009. "Why the Publication of Socially Harmful Information May Be Socially Desirable," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/122, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    15. Petra M. Geraats, 2008. "ECB Credibility and Transparency," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 330, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    16. Geraats, P.M., 2005. "Political Pressures and Monetary Mystique," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0557, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    17. Hahn, Volker, 2014. "Transparency In Monetary Policy, Signaling, And Heterogeneous Information," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 369-394, March.
    18. van der Cruijsen, C.A.B., 2008. "The economic impact of central bank transparency," Other publications TiSEM 86c1ba91-1952-45b4-adac-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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