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How Committees of Experts Interact with the Outside World: Some Theory, and Evidence from the FOMC

Author

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  • Job Swank
  • Otto H. Swank
  • Bauke Visser

Abstract

Some committees are made up of experts, persons who care both about the matter at hand and about coming across as able decision makers. We show that such committees would like to conceal disagreement from the public. That is, once the decision has been reached, they show a united front to the outside world. Also, if such committees are required to become transparent, for example, by publishing verbatim transcripts of their meetings, members will organize pre-meetings away from the public eye. A large part of the article is dedicated to a case study of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee in the United States. It provides suggestive evidence supporting our theory. (JEL: D71, D72, D82, E58) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Job Swank & Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2008. "How Committees of Experts Interact with the Outside World: Some Theory, and Evidence from the FOMC," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 478-486, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:6:y:2008:i:2-3:p:478-486
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Corporate culture and behaviour: A survey," DNB Working Papers 334, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Hahn, Volker, 2017. "Committee design with endogenous participation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 388-408.
    3. Lähner, Tom, 2015. "Inconsistent voting behavior in the FOMC," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-546, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Pierre L. Siklos & Matthias Neuenkirch, 2015. "How Monetary Policy Is Made: Two Canadian Tales," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(1), pages 225-250, January.
    5. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2007. "Is Transparency to no avail? Committee Decision-making, Pre-meetings, and Credible Deals," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-055/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2010. "Monetary Policy Committees: Meetings And Outcomes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 569-588, October.
    7. Sebastian Fehrler & Niall Hughes, 2018. "How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 181-209, February.
    8. Crowe, Christopher & Meade, Ellen E., 2008. "Central bank independence and transparency: Evolution and effectiveness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 763-777, December.
    9. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2013. "Monetary policy decisions – comparing theory and “inside” information from MPC members," Working Paper 2013/03, Norges Bank.
    10. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Mahieu, R.J. & Raes, L.B.D., 2013. "Inferring Hawks and Doves from Voting Records," Discussion Paper 2013-024, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Roman Horváth & Katerina Šmídková & Jan Zápal, 2012. "Central Banks' Voting Records and Future Policy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(4), pages 1-19, December.
    12. van der Cruijsen, C.A.B., 2008. "The economic impact of central bank transparency," Other publications TiSEM 86c1ba91-1952-45b4-adac-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    13. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:107-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Jean-François Laslier & Jörgen Weibull, 2008. "Committee decisions: Optimality and Equilibrium," Working Papers halshs-00121741, HAL.
    15. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2015. "Monetary Policy Committees: Comparing Theory and "Inside" Information from MPC Members," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 47-89, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • 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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