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How Expoerts Decide: Preferences or Private Assessments on a Monetary Policy Committee?

  • Stephen Hansen
  • Michael McMahon
  • Carlos Velasco Rivera

Using voting data from the Bank of England, we show that different individual assessments of the economy strongly influence votes after controlling for individual policy preferences. We estimate that internal members form more precise assessments than externals and are also more hawkish, though preference differences are very small if members vote strategically. Counterfactual analysis shows that committees add value through aggregating private assessments, but that gains to larger committees taper off quickly beyond five members. There is no evidence that externals add value through preference moderation. Since their assessments also have lower precision, mixed committees may not be optimal.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-04/cesifo1_wp4201.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4201.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4201
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  1. Anne Sibert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 649-665.
  2. Blinder, Alan S., 2007. "Monetary policy by committee: Why and how?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 106-123, March.
  3. Sean Holly & Arnab Bhattacharjee, 2005. "Inflation Targeting, Committee Decision Making and Uncertainty: The case of the Bank of England's MPC," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 119, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Christopher Spencer, 2006. "The Dissent Voting Behaviour of Bank of England MPC Members," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0306, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  5. Mark Harris & Paul Levine & Christopher Spencer, 2011. "A decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 413-442, March.
  6. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
  7. Sibert, Anne, 1999. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," CEPR Discussion Papers 2328, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. RIBONI, Alessandro & RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J., 2008. "Monetary Policy by Committee:Consensus, Chairman Dominance or Simple Majority?," Cahiers de recherche 2008-02, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Timothy Besley & Neil Meads & Paolo Surico, 2008. "Insiders versus outsiders in monetary policymaking," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33743, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Mihov, Ilian & Sibert, Anne, 2006. "Credibility and Flexibility with Independent Monetary Policy Committees," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 23-46, February.
  14. Matias Iaryczower & Matthew Shum, 2012. "The Value of Information in the Court: Get It Right, Keep It Tight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 202-37, February.
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