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Independent but Accountable: Walsh Contracts and the Credibility Problem

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  • Al-Nowaihi, A
  • Levine, Paul L

Abstract

Walsh (1995) addresses the government-central bank principal-agent problem where there exists a severe information extraction problem. This is solved by a ‘Walsh contract’ which links the income of the central bank to observed macroeconomic variables, output and inflation. The contract does not solve the time-inconsistency problem, however. There will be circumstances where a renegotiation of the contract benefits all parties involved and non-renegotiation-proofness destroys its credibility as a commitment device. But the contract’s strength is that renegotiation can be very visible and this facilitates a reputational solution to the problem, set out in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Al-Nowaihi, A & Levine, Paul L, 1996. "Independent but Accountable: Walsh Contracts and the Credibility Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 1387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1387
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rotondi, Zeno, 2000. "Designing instrument rules for monetary stability: the optimality of interest-rate smoothing," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 8, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    3. Rotondi, Zeno, 2000. "Credibility of optimal monetary delegation: do we really need prohibitive reappointment costs?," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 3, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    4. Herrendorf, Berthold, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Way of Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 431-448, July.
    5. Ali al-Nowaihi & Dean Garratt, 1998. "The New Political Macroeconomics," Discussion Papers in Economics 98/05, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    6. al-Nowaihi, Ali & Levine, Paul, 1998. "Can political monetary cycles be avoided?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 525-545, October.
    7. Rotondi, Zeno, 2000. "Designing instrument rules for monetary stability: the optimality of interest-rate smoothing," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0008, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    8. Marco Lossani & Piergiovanna Natale & Patrizio Tirelli, 2001. "Fiscal Policy and Inflation Targets: Does Credibility Matter?," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 371-392.
    9. M. Lossani & P. Natale, & P. Tirelli, 1997. "Fiscal Policy and Imperfectly Credible Inflation Targets: Should We Appoint Expenditure-Conservative Central Bankers?," Working Papers 9707, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    10. Francesca Castellani & Xavier Debrun, 2001. "Central Bank Independence and the Design of Fiscal Institutions," IMF Working Papers 01/205, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1998. "Political Consensus, Uncertain Preferences, and Central Bank Independence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 412-430, July.
    12. Rotondi, Zeno, 2000. "Credibility of optimal monetary delegation: do we really need prohibitive reappointment costs?," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0003, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central Bank Contract; Credibility; Renegotiation; Reputation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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