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Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?

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  • Hans Gersbach
  • Volker Hahn

Abstract

We examine whether it is socially beneficial for the individual voting records of central bank council members to be published when the general public is unsure about central bankers' efficiency and central bankers are aiming for re-election. We show that publication is initially harmful since somewhat less efficient central bankers attempt to imitate highly efficient central bankers in their bid to get re-elected. After re-election, however, losses will be lower when voting records are published since the government is more easily able to distinguish highly efficient from less efficient central bankers and can make central bankers individually accountable. Nevertheless, the negative effects of voting transparency predominate and expected overall losses are always larger when voting records are published.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:655-683
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-007-0259-7
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    1. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2004. "Voting Transparency, Conflicting Interests, And The Appointment Of Central Bankers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16, pages 321-345, November.
    2. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
    3. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2004. "Voting Transparency, Conflicting Interests, And The Appointment Of Central Bankers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 321-345, November.
    4. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
    5. Bauke Visser & Otto H. Swank, 2007. "On Committees of Experts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 337-372.
    6. Fujiki, Hiroshi, 2005. "The Monetary Policy Committee and the Incentive Problem: A Selective Survey," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 23(S1), pages 37-82, October.
    7. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
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