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Why Doesn't Society Minimize Central Bank Secrecy?

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  • Lewis, Karen K

Abstract

Societies have incentives to design institutions that allow central bank secrecy. This paper illustrates two of these incentives. First, if society tries to constrain secrecy in one way, central bankers will try to regain lost effectiveness by building up secrecy in other ways. Therefore, we may wind up accepting types of secrecy that appear preventable because reducing them would lead to higher costs. Second, if the social trade-offs between policy objectives change over time, the public may directly prefer greater central bank secrecy so that it will be surprised with expansionary policies when it most desires them. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewis, Karen K, 1991. "Why Doesn't Society Minimize Central Bank Secrecy?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 403-415, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:3:p:403-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Policy Responses to the Productivity Slowdown," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 555, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 134-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-1112, December.
    6. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Stern, Robert M & Baum, Christopher F & Greene, Mark N, 1979. "Evidence on Structural Change in the Demand for Aggregate U.S. Imports and Exports," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 179-192, February.
    8. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
    9. Cohen, Wesley M & Levin, Richard C & Mowery, David C, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-examination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 543-565, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Oh, Seonghwan, 1995. "When and how much to talk credibility and flexibility in monetary policy with private information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 341-357, April.
    2. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2000. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 218-235, May.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. M. Demertzis & N. Viegi, 2001. "Aiming for the Bull's Eye: Inflation Targeting under Uncertainty," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 671, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. Seth B. Carpenter, 2004. "Transparency and monetary policy: what does the academic literature tell policymakers?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Simon Hall & Chris Salmon & Tony Yates & Nicoletta Batini, 1999. "Uncertainty and Simple Monetary Policy Rules - An illustration for the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 96, Bank of England.

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