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Transparency, Flexibility and Macroeconomic Stabilization


  • Petra Geraats


Many central banks have become more transparent during the last decade, in particular about macroeconomic prospects. This paper shows that such economic transparency could give central banks greater flexibility to respond to macroeconomic shocks. In particular, it allows central banks to stabilize aggregate demand and supply shocks without affecting private sector inflation expectations. In contrast, opaque central banks limit their stabilization efforts to avoid disturbing inflation expectations. As a result, they mute their interest rate response and no longer fully offset anticipated demand shocks. This leads to macroeconomic volatility that is socially detrimental.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Geraats, 2014. "Transparency, Flexibility and Macroeconomic Stabilization," CESifo Working Paper Series 4642, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4642

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1999. "Is Bank Supervision Central to Central Banking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 629-653.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    3. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, August.
    4. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    5. Carl E. Walsh, 2007. "Transparency, Flexibility, and Inflation Targeting," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 7, pages 227-263 Central Bank of Chile.
    6. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
    7. Jensen, Henrik, 2002. " Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
    8. Petra M. Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 235-268, August.
    9. Carl E. Walsh, 2007. "Optimal Economic Transparency," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 5-36, March.
    10. Geraats, Petra M., 2000. "Why Adopt Transparency? The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0hw7h7cp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    11. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
    12. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
    13. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:pri:cepsud:161blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    17. 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 473-491, June.
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    More about this item


    transparency; monetary policy; macroeconomic stabilization;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • 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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