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Optimal Central Bank Design: Benchmarks for the ECB

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  • 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 Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1697
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsc, 2011. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 452-475, October.
    2. 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).
    3. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2015. "Optimal Conservatism and Collective Monetary Policymaking under Uncertainty," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 259-278, April.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2008. "The Stress of Having a Single Monetary Policy in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 2251, CESifo Group Munich.
    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, pages 25-53, January.
    8. H.J. Roelfsema, 2006. "Why are Federal Central Banks more Activist?," Working Papers 06-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
    9. 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.
    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. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank design; federal central banks; ECB; Eurosystem; ECB reform;

    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

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