IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_1697.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Central Bank Design: Benchmarks for the ECB

Author

Listed:
  • Helge Berger

Abstract

The paper discusses key elements of optimal central bank design and applies its findings to the Eurosystem. A particular focus is on the size of monetary policy committees, the degree of centralization, and the representation of relative economic size in the voting rights of regional (or sectoral) interests. Broad benchmarks for the optimal design of monetary policy committees are derived, combining relevant theoretical arguments with available empirical evidence. A new indicator compares the mismatch of relative regional economic size and voting rights in the monetary policy committees of the US Fed, the pre-1999 German Bundesbank, and the ECB over time. Based on these benchmarks, there seems to be room to improve the organization of the ECB Governing Board and current plans for reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Helge Berger, 2006. "Optimal Central Bank Design: Benchmarks for the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 1697, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1697
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1697.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lohmann, Susanne, 1997. "Partisan control of the money supply and decentralized appointment powers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 225-246, May.
    2. ., 2004. "Z," Chapters, in: Julio Segura & Carlos Rodríguez Braun (ed.), An Eponymous Dictionary of Economics, chapter 22, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Yunus Aksoy & Paul De Grauwe & Hans Dewachter, 2014. "Do Asymmetries Matter for European Monetary Policy?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Exchange Rates and Global Financial Policies, chapter 13, pages 321-353, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1991. "Regional economic conditions and the FOMC votes of district presidents," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 3-16.
    5. Clare Lombardelli & James Proudman & James Talbot, 2005. "Committees Versus Individuals: An Experimental Analysis of Monetary Policy Decision-Making," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
    6. Berentsen, Aleksander & Camera, Gabriele & Waller, Christopher, 2007. "Money, credit and banking," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 171-195, July.
    7. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
    8. Robert-Paul Berben & Beata Bierut & Philipp Maier, 2012. "The role of regional information in the optimal composition of a committee," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 510-517.
    9. Anne Sibert, 2006. "Central Banking by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 145-168, August.
    10. Helge Berger & Till Mueller, 2007. "How should large and small countries be represented in a currency union?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 471-484, September.
    11. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 86(Jul), pages 117-144.
    12. Hahn, Volker & Gersbach, Hans, 2001. "Voting Transparency and Conflicting Interests in Central Bank Councils," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,03, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    13. Christian Fahrholz & Philipp Mohl, 2004. "EMU-enlargement and the Reshaping of Decision-making within the ECB Governing Council: A Voting-Power Analysis," Eastward Enlargement of the Euro-zone Working Papers wp23, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, revised 01 Jun 2004.
    14. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.
    15. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2008. "The Dynamic (In)Efficiency of Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 1001-1032, August.
    16. Fujiki, Hiroshi, 2005. "The Monetary Policy Committee and the Incentive Problem: A Selective Survey," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 23(S1), pages 37-82, October.
    17. Friedrich Heinemann & Felix P. Huefner, 2004. "Is The View From The Eurotower Purely European? – National Divergence And Ecb Interest Rate Policy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(4), pages 544-558, September.
    18. Helge Berger & Jakob De Haan & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger, 2001. "Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 3-40, February.
    19. Mr. Helge Berger, 2002. "The ECB and Euro-Area Enlargement," IMF Working Papers 2002/175, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Carsten Hefeker, 2003. "Federal Monetary Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 643-659, December.
    21. Helge Berger & Jakob Haan, 2002. "Are small countries too powerful within the ECB?," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(3), pages 263-282, September.
    22. Helge Berger & Jakob de Haan & Robert Inklaar & Jakob de Haan, 2003. "Restructuring the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 1084, CESifo.
    23. Christopher J. Waller, 2000. "Policy Boards and Policy Smoothing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 305-339.
    24. Berger, Helge, 1997. "The Bundesbank's Path to Independence: Evidence from the 1950s," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 427-453, December.
    25. Hans Gersbach & Bernhard Pachl, 2009. "Flexible Majority Rules for Central Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 507-516, March.
    26. Marvin Goodfriend, 2000. "The role of a regional bank in a system of central banks," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 7-25.
    27. Frey, Rainer, 2004. "Welfare Implications of the Design of a Currency Union in Case of Member Countries of Different Sizes and Output Persistence," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,15, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    28. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2005. "Trends and cycles in the Euro Area: how much heterogeneity and should we worry about it?," Macroeconomics 0511016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    29. Waller, Christopher J., 1992. "A bargaining model of partisan appointments to the central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 411-428, June.
    30. Meade, Ellen E & Sheets, D Nathan, 2005. "Regional Influences on FOMC Voting Patterns," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 661-677, August.
    31. Lindner, Axel, 2000. "Long-term appointment of central bankers: costs and benefits," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 639-654, November.
    32. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
    33. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2004. "The effects of Learning in Interactive Monetary Policy Committees," MEB Series (discontinued) 2004-01, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
    34. Dorothee Heisenberg, 2003. "Cutting the Bank Down to Size: Efficient and Legitimate Decision‐making in the European Central Bank After Enlargement," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 397-420, June.
    35. Waller, Christopher J & Walsh, Carl E, 1996. "Central-Bank Independence, Economic Behavior, and Optimal Term Lengths," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1139-1153, December.
    36. Gros Daniel & Hefeker Carsten, 2002. "One Size Must Fit All: National Divergences in a Monetary Union," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 247-262, August.
    37. Gerlach-Kristen, Petra, 2006. "Monetary policy committees and interest rate setting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 487-507, February.
    38. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
    39. Süppel, Ralph & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1994. "Central Bank Constitutions for Monetary Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 919, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    40. Carsten Hefeker, 2002. "Monetary policy in a Union of 27: Enlargement and reform options," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 37(6), pages 315-320, November.
    41. Berthold Herrendorf & Manfred J.M. Neumann, 2003. "The Political Economy of Inflation, Labour Market Distortions and Central Bank Independence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 43-64, January.
    42. Rose, Andrew K., 2006. "Size really doesn't matter: In search of a national scale effect," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 482-507, December.
    43. Tokhir Mirzoev, 2004. "Limited Commitment, Inaction and Optimal Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0409027, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    44. Ellen Meade, 2003. "A (critical) appraisal of the ECB’s voting reform," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 38(3), pages 129-131, May.
    45. von Hagen, Jürgen & Brückner, Matthias, 2001. "Monetary policy in unknown territory: The European Central Bank in the early years," ZEI Working Papers B 18-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    46. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2004. "The Effects of Learning in Interactive Monetary Policy Committees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-029/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    47. 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.
    48. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608.
    49. Bullard, James & Waller, Christopher J, 2004. "Central Bank Design in General Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 95-113, February.
    50. von Hagen, Jurgen & Suppel, Ralph, 1994. "Central bank constitutions for federal monetary unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 774-782, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2011. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 78(2), pages 452-475, October.
    2. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
    3. Erhart, Szilárd & Vasquez-Paz, Jose Luis, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: theory and cross country evidence," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 439, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2015. "Optimal Conservatism and Collective Monetary Policymaking under Uncertainty," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 259-278, April.
    5. Hans Gersbach & Bernhard Pachl, 2009. "Flexible Majority Rules for Central Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 507-516, March.
    6. Szilard Erhart & Harmen Lehment & Jose Vasquez Paz, 2010. "Monetary policy committee size and inflation volatility," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-421, December.
    7. Agnès Bénassy‐Quéré & Edouard Turkisch, 2009. "The ECB Governing Council in an Enlarged Euro Area," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 25-53, January.
    8. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2008. "The Stress of Having a Single Monetary Policy in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 2251, CESifo.
    9. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Edouard Turkisch, 2009. "The ECB Governing Council in an Enlarged Euro Area," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 25-53, January.
    10. H.J. Roelfsema, 2006. "Why are Federal Central Banks more Activist?," Working Papers 06-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
    11. Szilárd Erhart & Jose Luis Vasquez-Paz, 2008. "Determinants of the size of a monetary policy committee: Theory and cross country evidence," Working Papers 2008-001, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    12. Helge Berger & Till Mueller, 2007. "How should large and small countries be represented in a currency union?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 471-484, September.
    13. Helge Berger, 2006. "Unfinished business? The ECB reform ahead of euro area enlargement," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(4), pages 35-41, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Helge Berger & Till Mueller, 2007. "How should large and small countries be represented in a currency union?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 471-484, September.
    2. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
    3. Helge Berger, 2006. "Unfinished business? The ECB reform ahead of euro area enlargement," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(4), pages 35-41, December.
    4. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Edouard Turkisch, 2009. "The ECB Governing Council in an Enlarged Euro Area," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 25-53, January.
    5. Agnès Bénassy‐Quéré & Edouard Turkisch, 2009. "The ECB Governing Council in an Enlarged Euro Area," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 25-53, January.
    6. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2011. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 78(2), pages 452-475, October.
    7. Hahn, Volker, 2016. "Designing monetary policy committees," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 47-67.
    8. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2008. "The Dynamic (In)Efficiency of Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 1001-1032, August.
    9. Bernd Hayo & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2013. "Behind closed doors: Revealing the ECB’s decision rule," Post-Print CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 37, pages 135-160, October.
    10. Ansgar Belke & Barbara Schnurbein, 2012. "European monetary policy and the ECB rotation model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 289-323, April.
    11. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2009. "Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 831-853, August.
    12. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2005. "Communication in Monetary Policy Committees," DNB Working Papers 059, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    13. Farvaque, Etienne & Matsueda, Norimichi & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2009. "How monetary policy committees impact the volatility of policy rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 534-546, December.
    14. D. Masciandaro, 2019. "What Bird Is That? Central Banking And Monetary Policy In The Last Forty Years," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 19127, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    15. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2008. "The Role of the Chairman in Setting Monetary Policy: Individualistic vs. Autocratically Collegial MPCs," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(3), pages 119-143, September.
    16. Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Central bankers in government appointed committees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 363-379, June.
    17. Berk, Jan Marc & Bierut, Beata K., 2011. "Communication in a monetary policy committee," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 791-801.
    18. Berger, Helge & Hefeker, Carsten, 2005. "One Country, One Vote? Labor Market Structure and Voting Rights in the ECB," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 672-687.
    19. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7716 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Vollmer Uwe, 2004. "Wer entscheidet über Leitzinssatzänderungen?: Zur optimalen Verfassung des Zentralbankrats in einer Währungsunion," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 55(1), pages 287-312, January.
    21. Hans Gersbach & Bernhard Pachl, 2009. "Flexible Majority Rules for Central Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 507-516, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank design; federal central banks; ECB; Eurosystem; ECB reform;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:ces:ceswps:_1697. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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.