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The Mystique of Central Bank Speak

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  • Geraats, P.M.

Abstract

Despite the recent trend towards greater transparency of monetary policy, in many respects central bankers still prefer to speak with mystique. This paper shows that the resulting perception of ambiguity could be desirable. Under the plausible assumption that there is imperfect common knowledge about the degree of central bank transparency, economic outcomes are affected by both the actual and perceived degree of transparency. It is shown that actual transparency is beneficial but that it may be useful to create the perception of opacity. The optimal communication strategy for the central bank is to provide clarity about the inflation target and to communicate information about the output target and supply shocks with perceived ambiguity. In this respect, the central bank benefits from sustaining transparency misperceptions, which helps to explain the mystique of central bank speak.

Suggested Citation

  • Geraats, P.M., 2005. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0543, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0543
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transparency; monetary policy; communication; transparency misperceptions.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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