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Central Bank Independence in the World: A New Data Set

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  • Ana Carolina Garriga

Abstract

This article introduces the most comprehensive dataset on de jure central bank independence (CBI), including yearly data from 182 countries between 1970 and 2012. The dataset identifies statutory reforms affecting CBI, their direction, and the attributes necessary to build the Cukierman, Webb and Neyapty index. Previous datasets focused on developed countries, and included non-representative samples of developing countries. This dataset’s substantially broader coverage has important implications. First, it challenges the conventional wisdom about central bank reforms in the world, revealing CBI increases and restrictions in decades and regions previously considered barely affected by reforms. Second, the inclusion of almost 100 countries usually overlooked in previous studies suggests that the sample selection may have substantially affected results. Simple analyses show that the associations between CBI and inflation, unemployment or growth are very sensitive to sample selection. Finally, the dataset identifies numerous CBI decreases (restrictions), whereas previous datasets mostly look at CBI increases. These data’s coverage not only allows researchers to test competing explanations of the determinants and effects of CBI in a global sample, but it also provides a useful instrument for cross-national studies in diverse fields, such as liberalization, diffusion, political institutions, democratization, or responses to financial crises.

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  • Ana Carolina Garriga, 2016. "Central Bank Independence in the World: A New Data Set," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 849-868, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ginixx:v:42:y:2016:i:5:p:849-868
    DOI: 10.1080/03050629.2016.1188813
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