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Staff, Functions, and Staff Costs at Central Banks: An International Comparison with a Labor-demand Model


  • Jorge Galán Camacho


  • Miguel Sarmiento Paipilla



During the period 2000-2004 central banks sustained a generalized reduction in their staff, which was accompanied, in most cases, with significant increases in staff costs. This could obey to an enhanced interest of central banks in focusing on their core functions. In fact, central banks have changed the ways they perform their operative functions (e.g. currency operations, payment systems operation, printing notes, etc.) through different strategies aimed at gathering the participation of third parties. These strategies differ according to the relationship that central banks have with the financial sector and the government, as well as to their historical tradition and modernization trend. To explain the effect of these changes on the staff, we estimated a short-term labor demand function for 66 central banks using a panel data model with random effects. Results indicate that central banks’ labor demand is strongly determined by the country’s population, economic development level and changes in operative functions, as well as by staff costs. In addition, we found a low employment-wage elasticity suggesting the presence of a flexible budgetary constrain in central banks.

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  • Jorge Galán Camacho & Miguel Sarmiento Paipilla, 2006. "Staff, Functions, and Staff Costs at Central Banks: An International Comparison with a Labor-demand Model," Borradores de Economia 419, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:419

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    1. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1999. "Is Bank Supervision Central to Central Banking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 629-653.
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    4. Nout Wellink & Bryan Chapple & Philipp Maier, 2002. "The role of national central banks within the European System of Central Banks: The example of De Nederlandsche Bank," Macroeconomics 0207006, EconWPA.
    5. Di Noia, Carmine & Di Giorgio, Giorgio, 1999. "Should Banking Supervision and Monetary Policy Tasks Be Given to Different Agencies?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 361-378, November.
    6. Saikkonen, Pentti, 1991. "Asymptotically Efficient Estimation of Cointegration Regressions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 1-21, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clara Machado & Carlos León & Miguel Sarmiento & Freddy Cepeda & Orlando Chipatecua & Jorge Cely, 2011. "Riesgo Sistémico Y Estabilidad Del Sistema De Pagos De Alto Valor En Colombia: Análisis Bajo," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 29(65), pages 106-175, Junio.
    2. Freddy H. Castro & Ingrid Monroy, 2011. "Demanda laboral en la Banca Central: análisis de tendencias 2000-2009," Borradores de Economia 662, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Jorge Ponce, 2010. "A Normative Analysis of Banking Supervision: Independence, Legal Protection and Accountability," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 141-181, July-Dece.
    4. Singleton,John, 2010. "Central Banking in the Twentieth Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899093, May.
    5. Jorge E. Galán and & Miguel Sarmiento, 2008. "Banknote Printing at Modern central Banking: Trends, Costs and Efficiency," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 217-262, July-Dece.
    6. Miguel Sarmiento, 2010. "Central Bank Economic Research: Output, Demand, Productivity, and Relevance," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 211-240, July-Dece.
    7. Odean B. White, 2008. "Determinants of Commercial Banks’ Cost of Financial Intermediation in Jamaica: a Maximum Likelihood Estimation Approach," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 129-159, July-Dece.

    More about this item


    Central Banking; Labor Demand; Modernization; Functions; Staff Costs; Panel Data; Random Effects. Classification JEL: E50; J23; J30; C33;

    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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