Revisiting the Case for a Populist Central Banker
It is known that discretionary policy may give rise to an inflationary bias if wages are negotiated in nominal terms. It has recently been argued that this bias can be eliminated, and welfare maximized, by the appointment of a central banker who does not care at all about inflation (a "populist" central banker). A conceptual flaw of the latter result is identified here. It is shown that when wages are negotiated in nominal terms the result is true only in the special case of a single, allencompassing, union. In the more general case of multiple unions, however, inflation increases linearly with their number and a populist central bank may turn out to decrease welfare.
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- Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998.
"Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence,"
1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Cukierman, Alex & Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Central bank independence, centralization of wage bargaining, inflation and unemployment:: Theory and some evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1395-1434, June.
- Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Strategic Monetary Policy with Non-Atomistic Wage Setters: A Case for Non-Neutrality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
- Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
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