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Political Pressures and Monetary Mystique

  • Geraats, P.M.

Central bank independence and transparency have become best practice in monetary policy. This paper cautions that transparency about economic information may not be beneficial in the absence of central bank independence. The reason is that it reduces monetary uncertainty, which could make the government less inhibited to interfere with monetary policy. In fact, a central bank could use monetary mystique to obtain greater insulation from political pressures, even if the government faces no direct cost of overriding. As a result, economic secrecy could be beneficial and provide the central bank greater political independence.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0557.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0557.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0557
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Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  1. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  2. Geraats Petra M., 2005. "Transparency and Reputation: The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, February.
  3. Jensen, Henrik, 2001. "Optimal degrees of transparency in monetary policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco, 2002. "Central Bank Accountability and Transparency: Theory and Some Evidence," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Spring.
  5. Henry W. Chappell, Jr. & Rob Roy McGregor & Todd A. Vermilyea, 2005. "Committee Decisions on Monetary Policy: Evidence from Historical Records of the Federal Open Market Committee," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033305, June.
  6. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  7. Geraats, P.M., 2004. "Modelling Stochastic Relative Preferences," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0468, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Gersbach, Hans & Hahn, Volker, 2005. "Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 5155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-97, May.
  10. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  11. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  12. D. Backus & J. Driffil, 1998. "Inflation and Reputation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625, David K. Levine.
  13. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  14. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  15. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. S[empty]rensen, Jan Rose, 1991. "Political uncertainty and macroeconomic performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 377-381, December.
  18. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Jensen, Henrik, 2003. " Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 129-36, February.
  19. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  20. Geraats, P.M., 2005. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0543, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  21. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  22. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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