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Central Bank Independence and Conservatism under Uncertainty: Substitutes or Complements?

  • Carsten Hefeker
  • Blandine Zimmer

The paper examines the optimal combination of central bank independence and conservatism in the presence of uncertain central bank preferences. We develop a model of endogenous monetary policy delegation in which government chooses the central bank's degree of inde-pendence and conservatism so as to minimise society's loss function. We find that the optimal combination between independence and conservatism is not necessarily characterised by substitutability. When uncertainty about the central bank's preferences is high, independence and conservatism can become complements. In this case, giving more independence to the central bank increases the need for conservatism.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-02/cesifo1_wp3344.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3344.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3344
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  1. Jensen, Henrik, 2001. "Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," CEPR Discussion Papers 2689, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1999. "Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets under Uncertainty: Why We Might Need Conservative Central Bankers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 241-54, May.
  3. Muscatelli, Anton, 1998. "Optimal Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets with Uncertain Central Bank Preferences: Accountability through Independence?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 529-42, March.
  4. Alex Cukierman, 2009. "The Limits of Transparency," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-37, 02.
  5. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2011. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Policy in an Asymmetric Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 163-178, February.
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  23. Helge Berger & Ulrich Woitek, 2005. "Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 745-766, 07.
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  27. Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W, 2001. " Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 3-40, February.
  28. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana, 2002. "Independence before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics and Central Bank Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment: Theory and Evidence," Papers 332, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  30. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Jensen, Henrik, 1998. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 384-403, August.
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