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Policy Boards and Policy Smoothing

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  • Christopher J. Waller

Abstract

Partisan politics and random election outcomes generate policy uncertainty and partisan business cycles. To reduce policy uncertainty, society must design the policy-making environment to overcome electoral uncertainty and partisanship. I show that delegating policy to an independent policy board with discretionary powers will produce substantial policy smoothing and lower policy uncertainty relative to a simple model in which elected officials set policy. Board members are chosen in a partisan, noncooperative environment; yet in the benchmark model, policy variability is eliminated, and the cooperative bargaining solution is replicated.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. Waller, 2000. "Policy Boards and Policy Smoothing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 305-339.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:1:p:305-339.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355300554665
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Reis, 2013. "Central Bank Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 17-44, Fall.
    2. Corinne Aaron-Cureau & Hubert Kempf, 2006. "Bargaining over monetary policy in a monetary union and the case for appointing an independent central banker," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-27, January.
    3. Anne Sibert, 2006. "Central Banking by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 145-168, August.
    4. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2000. "Bribing Voters," Economics Series Working Papers 39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance, or Simple Majority?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 363-416.
    6. Helge Berger, 2006. "Optimal central bank design: Benchmarks for the ECB," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 207-235, September.
    7. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2008. "The Dynamic (In)Efficiency of Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 1001-1032, August.
    8. Farvaque, Etienne & Matsueda, Norimichi & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2009. "How monetary policy committees impact the volatility of policy rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 534-546, December.
    9. Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Central bankers in government appointed committees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 363-379, June.
    10. Etienne Farvaque & Norimichi Matsueda & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2007. "How committees reduce the volatility of policy rates," DULBEA Working Papers 07-11.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. 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.
    12. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
    13. Dal Bo, Ernesto, 2006. "Committees with supermajority voting yield commitment with flexibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 573-599, May.
    14. George A. Krause & David E. Lewis & James W. Douglas, 2013. "Politics Can Limit Policy Opportunism in Fiscal Institutions: Evidence from Official General Fund Revenue Forecasts in the American States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 271-295, March.
    15. Alberto Alesina & Alberto Carrasquilla & Roberto Steiner, 2000. "The Central Bank in Colombia," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002458, FEDESARROLLO.
    16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7684 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Berthold Herrendorf & Manfred J.M. Neumann, 2003. "The Political Economy of Inflation, Labour Market Distortions and Central Bank Independence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 43-64, January.
    18. Ilian Mihov & Anne Sibert, 2002. "Credibility and Flexibility with Monetary Policy Committees," Working Papers 232002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    19. Mihov, Ilian & Sibert, Anne, 2006. "Credibility and Flexibility with Independent Monetary Policy Committees," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 23-46, February.
    20. Bullard, James & Waller, Christopher J, 2004. "Central Bank Design in General Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 95-113, February.
    21. Philipp Maier, 2007. "Monetary Policy Committees in Action: Is There Room for Improvement?," Staff Working Papers 07-6, Bank of Canada.
    22. Hahn, Volker, 2016. "Designing monetary policy committees," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 47-67.
    23. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2002. "Supermajority Voting Rules: Balancing Commitment and Flexibility," Economics Series Working Papers 132, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    24. Mixon, Franklin Jr. & Upadhyaya, Kamal P., 2004. "Examining legislative challenges to central bank autonomy: macroeconomic and agency costs models," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 415-428.
    25. Hayo, Bernd & Hefeker, Carsten, 2002. "Reconsidering central bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 653-674, November.

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