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Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability

Author

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  • Charles Nolan
  • Eric Schaling

Abstract

There is a considerable academic literature on the relationship between Central Bank independence and inflation but the issue of Central Bank accountability and its effect of inflation performance has received very little attention. This paper looks at the issue of accountability in a simple theoretical model. Defining greater accountability as lower public uncertainty over the Central Bank's preferences, it shows that greater accountability will tend to be associated with improved inflation performance. This follows because, increased uncertainty will cause the public to raise their average inflation expectation, ceteris paribus. This can be thought of as a form of risk premium that the public add to their inflation expectations when they are uncertain about the Central Bank's future actions. Given this result, the paper goes on to establish that a given level of inflation can be achieved by different combinations of accountability and independence. Greater accountability means that the same inflation outcome can be achieved at lower independence. The paper then suggests that this result accounts for the negative correlation between independence and accountability found in Briault, Haldane and King.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:54
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    File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/workingpapers/1996/wp54.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicola Anderson & Francis Breedon, 1996. "UK Asset Price Volatility Over the Last 50 Years," Bank of England working papers 51, Bank of England.
    2. Quah, Danny & Vahey, Shaun P, 1995. "Measuring Core Inflation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1130-1144, September.
    3. Francis Breedon & Ian Twinn, 1995. "Valuation of underwriting agreements for UK rights issues: evidence from the traded option market," Bank of England working papers 39, Bank of England.
    4. Roger Beaton & Paul Fisher, 1995. "The Construction of RPIY," Bank of England working papers 28, Bank of England.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patron, Hilde, 2007. "The value of information about central bankers' preferences," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 139-148.
    2. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Viegi, Nicola, 2001. "Credibility, Transparency and Asymmetric Information in Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1998. "A Theory of Central Bank Accountability," Discussion Paper 1998-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Winkler, Bernhard, 2000. "Which kind of transparency? On the need for clarity in monetary policy-making," Working Paper Series 0026, European Central Bank.
    5. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2007. "Central Bank transparency in theory and practice," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 760-789, December.
    7. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2002. "Does it pay to be transparent? international evidence form central bank forecasts," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 99-118.
    8. Peter Prazmowski, 2002. "Endogenous credibility and stabilization programmes: evidence from the Dominican Republic," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(14), pages 933-937.
    9. Schaling, Eric, 2004. "The Nonlinear Phillips Curve and Inflation Forecast Targeting: Symmetric versus Asymmetric Monetary Policy Rules," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 361-386, June.
    10. Nobay, A. R. & Peel, D. A., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with a nonlinear Phillips curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 159-164, May.
    11. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2003. "Three Models of Imperfect Transparency in Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Charles Richard Barrett & Ioanna Kokores & Somnath Sen, 2016. "Monetary policy games, financial instability and incomplete information," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 161-178, May.
    13. D. A. Peel, 1999. "Uncertainty in the Central Bank's weight on output: some new results," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(10), pages 659-662.
    14. D. A. Peel, 2001. "Uncertain central bankers preferences: some implications of multiplicative versus additive uncertainty," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 17-20.
    15. Chortareas, Georgios E & Miller, Stephen M, 2003. "Central Banker Contracts, Incomplete Information, and Monetary Policy Surprises: In Search of a Selfish Central Banker?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(3-4), pages 271-295, September.
    16. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1998. "Political Consensus, Uncertain Preferences, and Central Bank Independence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 412-430, July.
    17. Marcelo de Carvalho Griebeler, 2015. "On the existence of loss function for some useful classes of central bankers," International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(3), pages 229-241.
    18. Sénégas, Marc-Alexandre & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1999. "The effects of transmission uncertainty on the flexibility-credibility tradeoff in monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 14/1999, Bank of Finland.
    19. Geraats, Petra M., 2000. "Why Adopt Transparency? The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0hw7h7cp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    20. Eric Schaling, 1999. "The non-linear Phillips curve and inflation forecast targeting," Bank of England working papers 98, Bank of England.
    21. Philipp Maier & Eirc Santor, 2008. "Reforming the IMF: Lessons from Modern Central Banking," Discussion Papers 08-6, Bank of Canada.
    22. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts & Sylvester Eijffinger, 1998. "Incentive schemes for central bankers under uncertainty: inflation targets versus contracts," Bank of England working papers 88, Bank of England.
    23. Simon Hall & Chris Salmon & Tony Yates & Nicoletta Batini, 1999. "Uncertainty and Simple Monetary Policy Rules - An illustration for the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 96, Bank of England.

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