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The Federal Design of a Central Bank in a Monetary Union: The Case of the European System of Central Banks

  • Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger

In this paper we analyze the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) as a federal central bank system. First, the degree of decentralization of the ESCB will be briefly compared with its predecessor, the Deutsche Bundesbank, and its counterweight in the US, the Federal Reserve System. Moreover, the development during the period 1990-99 of the total, economics and research staffing of the ECB and the national central banks in the EU will be investigated and also the staff ratios of the national central banks in 1999. Furthermore, the research activities of the central banks in the European Union over the period 1990-99 will be analyzed both in terms of input (economics and research staff) and output (quality-weighted number of articles in scientific journals). The share of economics research staff in total staff of the national central banks varies between 0.02 and 0.17. The ECB has the highest ratio between economists and researchers and other staff. A ranking of research performance based on the quality-weighted number of scientific articles per economics and research employee reveals that the Bank of Finland has the best research performance of European central banks, followed by De Nederlandsche Bank, the Banco de Portugal and the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. There is only a weak relationship between the research performance and the share of research staff. The conclusion "small is beautiful" also seems to hold for the economics and research departments of the European central banks.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 160.

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Date of creation: Jun 2002
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:160
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  1. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & de Haan, J. & Koedijk, C.G., 2002. "Small is beautiful : Measuring the research input and output of European Central Banks," Other publications TiSEM 54809c56-978b-43f0-8117-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Carsten Hefeker, 2003. "Federal Monetary Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 643-659, December.
  3. Ellen E. Meade & D. Nathan Sheets, 2002. "Regional influences on U.S. monetary policy: some implications for Europe," International Finance Discussion Papers 721, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Angeloni, Ignazio, 1999. "The role of a regional bank in a system of central banks : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 73-77, December.
  5. Eijffinger, Sylvester & Haan, Jakob de, 2000. "European Monetary and Fiscal Policy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776161, March.
  6. Eduard Hochreiter, 2000. "The current role of national central banks in the Eurosystem," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 28(3), pages 300-308, September.
  7. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1999. "The role of a regional bank in a system of central banks," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 51-71, December.
  8. Vaubel, Roland, 1997. "The bureaucratic and partisan behavior of independent central banks: German and international evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 201-224, May.
  9. Andrea Tokman Ramos, 2002. "Is Private Education Better? Evidence from Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 147, Central Bank of Chile.
  10. M.A. Akhtar & Howard Howe, 1991. "The political and institutional independence of U.S. monetary policy," Research Paper 9110, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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