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Median Voter Preferences, Central Bank Independence and Conservatism

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  • Francesco Lippi

    (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

This paper studies how the independence and conservatism of a central bank relate to the structure and stability of the median voter preferences. This is done by means of a model of endogenous delegation in which an opportunistic policy-maker chooses the monetary regime (independence and conservatism) to maximise the welfare of the median voter. The results show that a high degree of inflation aversion of monetary policy is not necessarily associated with a high degree of central bank independence. A high degree of inflation aversion of society (i.e. of the median voter) may lead to establish a central bank which is highly inflation averse, without necessarily making it independent. This suggests that the negative correlation between inflation and central bank independence indices detected by several empirical studies may reflect a link between inflation and some deep features of social preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Lippi, 1999. "Median Voter Preferences, Central Bank Independence and Conservatism," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 351, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_351_99
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 13-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hayo, Bernd, 1998. "Inflation culture, central bank independence and price stability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 241-263, May.
    3. Reichlin, Pietro & Siconolfi, Paolo, 1997. "Adverse Selection of Investment Projects and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hefeker, Carsten & Zimmer, Blandine, 2011. "The optimal choice of central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 595-606.
    2. Bernd Hayo & Carsten Hefeker, 2001. "Do We Really Need Central Bank Independence? A Critical Re- examination," Macroeconomics 0103006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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).
    4. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniela Monacelli, 2000. "EMU fiscal rules: Is there a gap?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 375, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2010. "Central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty: Substitutes or complements?," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 140-10, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    6. Siviero, S. & Terlizzese, D. & Visco, I., 1999. "Are Model-Based Inflation Forecasts Used in Monetary Policymaking? A Case Study," Papers 357, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
    7. 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.
    8. Hayo, Bernd & Hefeker, Carsten, 2002. "Reconsidering central bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 653-674, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central banks; elections; median voter;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • 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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