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Central Bank Independence and the Sacrifice Ratio: The Dark Side of the Force


  • Manfred Gärtner


The paper looks at the empirical relationship between central bank independence (CBI) and income losses caused by restrictive monetary policy. It finds that higher CBI goes along with higher sacrifice ratios. This relationship is strongly nonlinear (differences at high CBI levels matter much more), robust and dominant (no other variables discussed in the literature exert a significant influence alongside CBI). Also between 1973 and 1988 total income losses added up over all disinflation episodes are highest in countries with the most independent central banks. No evidence is found that higher sacrifice ratios are due to flatter Philips curves.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred Gärtner, 1997. "Central Bank Independence and the Sacrifice Ratio: The Dark Side of the Force," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 133(III), pages 513-538, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:1997-iii-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1995. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Shocks to Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 975-1009.
    2. Arthur Grimes & Jason Wong, 1992. "The role of the exchange rate in New Zealand monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 176-197.
    3. Fernando Barran & Virginie Coudert & Benoît Mojon, 1996. "The Transmission of Monetary Policy in the European Countries," Working Papers 1996-03, CEPII research center.
    4. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-921, September.
    5. Richard H. Clarida & Mark Gertler, 1997. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 363-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Grilli, Vittorio & Roubini, Nouriel, 1996. "Liquidity models in open economies: Theory and empirical evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 847-859, April.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartsch, Klaus & Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2001. "Zur Interdependenz von Geld- und Lohnpolitik: Makroökonometrische Ex-post und Ex-ante Simulationen verschiedener Szenarien für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland
      [On the interdependence of monetary and
      ," MPRA Paper 18715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hein, Eckhard, 2001. "Institutions and macroeconomic performance: Central bank independence, labour market institutions and the perspectives for inflation and employment in the European Monetary Union," WSI Working Papers 95, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    3. Giuseppe Diana & Mose Sidiropoulos, 2004. "Central Bank Independence, Speed of Disinflation and the Sacrifice Ratio," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 385-402, October.
    4. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Patrizio Tirelli & Nicola Acocella, 2013. "Trend inflation as a workers’ discipline device," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 215-235, May.
    5. Carstens, Agustín & Jácome H., Luis I., 2005. "La reforma de los bancos centrales latinoamericanos. Avances y desafíos," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(288), pages 683-732, octubre-d.
    6. Down Ian, 2009. "Central Bank Independence, Disinflations and Monetary Policy," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 1-22, January.
    7. Reiner Eichenberger & Sergio Rossi, 2004. "Die Deregulierung der Zentralbanken: Auf zu einem internationalen Markt für gute Geldpolitik!," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(III), pages 327-353, September.
    8. Francesca Castellani & Xavier Debrun, 2001. "Central Bank Independence and the Design of Fiscal Institutions," IMF Working Papers 01/205, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Tonny Lybek, 1999. "Central Bank Autonomy, and Inflation and Output Performance in the Baltic States, Russia, and Other Countries of the Former Soviet Union, 1995-1997," IMF Working Papers 99/4, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Agustin Carstens & Luis I. Jacome H., 2005. "Latin American Central Bank Reform: Progress and Challenges," Macroeconomics 0509022, EconWPA.
    11. Chrigui, Zouhair & Boujelbene, Younes & Mhamdi, Ghrissi, 2011. "Central Bank independence and inflation: Evidence from emerging countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 453-469, May.

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