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Political and Economic Determinants of Interest Rate Behavior: Are Central Banks Different?


  • Johnson, David R
  • Siklos, Pierre L


Political influences on short-term interest rates in seventeen OECD countries from 1960 to 1990 are measured. After controlling for unexpected changes in inflation and unemployment, as well as changes in the world interest rate, short-term interest rates in most countries do not respond to political events, neither the timing of elections nor changes in the governing party. Thus, on this criterion, the central banks in this sample do not reveal large differences in their degree of independence from political influence. The small differences are not closely related to rankings of central bank independence based on quantification of central bank laws. Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, David R & Siklos, Pierre L, 1996. "Political and Economic Determinants of Interest Rate Behavior: Are Central Banks Different?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(4), pages 708-729, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:34:y:1996:i:4:p:708-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ariél Pakes & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Estimating Distributed Lags in Short Panels with an Application to the Specification of Depreciation Patterns and Capital Stock Constructs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 243-262.
    2. Epstein, L. & Denny, M., 1980. "Endogenous capital utilization in a short-run production model : Theory and an empiral application," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 189-207, February.
    3. W. Erwin Diewert, 1980. "Aggregation Problems in the Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 433-538 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kim, Moshe, 1988. "The Structure of Technology with Endogenous Capital Utilization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 111-130, February.
    5. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502.
    6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    7. Prucha, Ingmar R. & Nadiri, M. Ishaq, 1996. "Endogenous capital utilization and productivity measurement in dynamic factor demand models Theory and an application to the U.S. electrical machinery industry," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 343-379.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre L. Siklos, 2004. "Central Bank Behavior, the Institutional Framework, and Policy Regimes: Inflation Versus Noninflation Targeting Countries," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(3), pages 331-343, July.
    2. Bohl, Martin T. & Gottschalk, Katrin, 2006. "International evidence on the Democrat premium and the presidential cycle effect," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 107-120, August.
    3. Siklos, Pierre L., 2008. "No single definition of central bank independence is right for all countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 802-816, December.
    4. Pierre L. Siklos & Martin T. Bohl, 2005. "The Bundesbank's Communications Strategy and Policy Conflicts with the Federal Government," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 395-409, October.
    5. Pierre L. Siklos, 1999. "Inflation-target design: changing inflation performance and persistence in industrial countries," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 46-58.
    6. Miniaoui, Héla & Smida, Mounir, 2008. "Crédibilité des autorités monétaires et transparence – Quelle complémentarité dans le cas de la Tunisie? Une contribution au débat," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 84(2), pages 205-234, juin.

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