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What Do Outside Experts Bring To A Committee? Evidence From The Bank of England

  • Stephen Eliot Hansen and Michael McMahon

We test whether outside experts have information not available to insiders by using the voting record of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Members with more private information should vote more often against conventional wisdom, which we measure as the average belief of market economists about future interest rates. We find evidence that external members indeed have information not available to internals, but also use a quasi-natural experiment to show they may exaggerate their expertise to obtain reappointment. This implies that an optimal committee, even outside monetary policy, should potentially include outsiders, but needs to manage career concerns.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 512.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:512
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  1. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
  2. Arnab Bhattacharjee & Sean Holly, 2004. "Inflation Targeting, committee Decision Making and Uncertainty: The case of the Bank of England's MPC," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 63, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Timothy Besley & Neil Meads & Paolo Surico, 2008. "Insiders versus outsiders in monetary policymaking," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33743, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Bauke Visser & Otto H Swank, 2007. "On Committees of Experts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 337-372, 02.
  5. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2008. "Delayed doves: MPC voting behaviour of externals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance, or Simple Majority?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 363-416, February.
  7. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2009. "Outsiders at the Bank of England's MPC," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1099-1115, 09.
  8. Christopher Spencer, 2006. "The Dissent Voting Behaviour of Bank of England MPC Members," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0306, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  9. Mark Harris & Paul Levine & Christopher Spencer, 2011. "A decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 413-442, March.
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