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Overconfidence, Monetary Policy Committees and Chairman Dominance

Author

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  • Carl Andreas Claussen

    () (Sveriges Riksbank and Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

  • Egil Matsen

    () (Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Norges Bank)

  • Øistein Røisland

    () (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

  • Ragnar Torvik

    () (Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Norges Bank)

Abstract

We suggest that overconfidence among policymakers explains why formal decision power over monetary policy is given to committees, while much of the real power to set policy remains with central bank chairmen. Overconfidence implies that the chairman underweights advice from his staff, increasing policy risk if he alone decides. A committee with decision power reduces this risk, because it induces moderation from the chairman. Overconfidence also yields disagreement and dissent in the committee, consistent with evidence from monetary policy committees. As the chairman is on average better informed, through his wider access to the staff, this would give him a suboptimal influence if policy is set through simple majority voting. Giving the chairman extra decision power, through e.g. agenda-setting rights, restores his influence. A monetary policy committee with a strong chairman balances the risks and influence distortions that occur if policymakers are overconfident.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Andreas Claussen & Egil Matsen & Øistein Røisland & Ragnar Torvik, 2009. "Overconfidence, Monetary Policy Committees and Chairman Dominance," Working Paper 2009/17, Norges Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2009_17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Neuenkirch, Matthias & Tillmann, Peter, 2014. "Inflation targeting, credibility, and non-linear Taylor rules," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-45.
    3. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2016. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers Are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability versus Minimum-Quality-Standard Regulation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 274-304, June.
    4. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:01:n:s0217590816500107 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Proeger, Till & Meub, Lukas, 2014. "Overconfidence as a social bias: Experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 203-207.
    6. Carl Andreas Claussen & Øistein Røisland, 2015. "Explaining Interest Rate Decisions when the MPC Members Believe in Different Stories," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(2), pages 41-64, March.
    7. Horváth Roman & Šmídková Kateřina & Zápal Jan, 2016. "Voting in Central Banks: Theory versus Stylized Facts," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-62, October.
    8. Etienne Farvaque & Norimichi Matsueda, 2017. "Optimal Term Length For An Overconfident Central Banker," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 62(01), pages 179-192, March.
    9. Smales, Lee A. & Apergis, Nick, 2016. "The influence of FOMC member characteristics on the monetary policy decision-making process," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 216-231.
    10. 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.
    11. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2014. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability vs. Minimum Quality Standard Regulation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5003, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central Bank Governance; Monetary Policy Committees; Overcon?dence; Agenda-setting;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • 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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