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Accountability of central banks: aspects and quantification


  • J. DE HAAN

    (University of Groningen)


    (University of Groningen)


    (Tilburg University)


The work examines the relationship between central bank independence and accountability. The authors do this by using an indicator for central bank accountability based on the laws of 16 central banks. Central bank accountability is identified as having three distinct features, namely, the explicit definition and ranking of the objectives of monetary policy, the transparency of the actual monetary policy, and the final responsibility to monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • J. De Haan & F. Amtenbrink & S.C.W. Eijffinger, 1999. "Accountability of central banks: aspects and quantification," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 52(209), pages 169-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:psl:bnlqrr:1999:23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-286, March.
    2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
    3. J. De Haan & W. Kooi, 1997. "What really matters: conservativeness or independence?," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 50(200), pages 23-38.
    4. S. Eijffinger & M. Van Keulen, 1995. "Central bank independence in another eleven countries," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(192), pages 39-81.
    5. Adam S. Posen, 1995. "Declarations Are Not Enough: Financial Sector Sources of Central Bank Independence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 253-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-211, May.
    7. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-398, September.
    8. Forder, James, 1996. "On the Assessment and Implementation of 'Institutional' Remedies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 39-51, January.
    9. Muscatelli, Anton, 1998. "Optimal Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets with Uncertain Central Bank Preferences: Accountability through Independence?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 529-542, March.
    10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
    11. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-10, December.
    12. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    13. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
    14. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    15. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
    16. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 1998. "Independently Blue? Accountability and Independence in the New European Central Bank," CEPR Discussion Papers 1842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sousa, Pedro A. B. de, 2001. "Independent and Accountable Central Banks and the European Central Bank," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 5, July.
    2. Masciandaro, Donato & Quintyn, Marc & Taylor, Michael W., 2008. "Inside and outside the central bank: Independence and accountability in financial supervision: Trends and determinants," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 833-848, December.
    3. Baltensperger, Ernst & Fischer, Andreas M. & Jordan, Thomas J., 2007. "Strong goal independence and inflation targets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 88-105, March.
    4. Francisco Torres, 2003. "EMU and EU Governance," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 03, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro, revised Oct 2003.
    5. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1999. "Monetary policy issues for the Eurosystem," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    6. Berlemann, Michael & Hilscher, Kai, 2010. "Effective monetary policy conservatism: A comparison of 11 OECD countries," HWWI Research Papers 2-21, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    7. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    8. Marc Quintyn, 2009. "Independent agencies: more than a cheap copy of independent central banks?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 267-295, September.
    9. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.
    10. Libich, Jan & Nguyen, Dat Thanh & Stehlík, Petr, 2015. "Monetary exit and fiscal spillovers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 184-206.
    11. Marcel Peter & Scott Roger & Geoffrey M Heenan, 2006. "Implementing Inflation Targeting; Institutional Arrangements, Target Design, and Communications," IMF Working Papers 06/278, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2010. "Incorporating rigidity and commitment in the timing structure of macroeconomic games," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 767-781, May.
    13. André, Marine Charlotte & Dai, Meixing, 2017. "Is central bank conservatism desirable under learning?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 281-296.
    14. repec:kap:iecepo:v:15:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0365-z is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alessandro Gambini & Salim M. Darbar & Marco Arnone, 2007. "Banking Supervision; Quality and Governance," IMF Working Papers 07/82, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Franz R. Hahn & Peter Mooslechner, 1999. "Underpinnings of the European System of Central Banks," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 72(1), pages 49-60, January.
    17. Mariusz Jarmuzek & Lucjan T. Orlowski & Artur Radziwill, 2004. "Monetary Policy Transparency in Inflation Targeting Countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0281, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    18. Michael Berlemann & Kai Hielscher, 2013. "Effective Monetary Policy Conservatism: A Comparison of 13 OECD Countries," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(3), pages 267-290, July.

    More about this item


    Central bank accountability; independence;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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