IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability


  • Charles Nolan
  • Eric Schaling


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quah, Danny & Vahey, Shaun P, 1995. "Measuring Core Inflation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1130-1144, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Roger Beaton & Paul Fisher, 1995. "The Construction of RPIY," Bank of England working papers 28, Bank of England.
    4. Nicola Anderson & Francis Breedon, 1996. "UK Asset Price Volatility Over the Last 50 Years," Bank of England working papers 51, Bank of England.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Digital Media Team). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.