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The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy

  • Faust, Jon
  • Svensson, Lars E O

We examine a central bank's endogenous choice of degree of control and degree of transparency, under both commitment and discretion. Under commitment, we find that the deliberate choice of sloppy control is far less likely under a standard central-bank loss function than reported for a less standard loss function by Cukierman and Meltzer. Under discretion, maximum degree of control is the only equilibrium. With regard to the degree of transparency, under commitment, a sufficiently patient bank with sufficiently low average inflation bias will always choose minimum transparency. Under discretion, both minimum and maximum transparency are equilibria. We argue that discretion is the more realistic assumption for the choice of control and that commitment is more realistic for the choice of transparency. A maximum feasible degree of control with a minimum degree of transparency is then a likely outcome. The Bundesbank and the Federal Reserve System are, arguably, examples of this outcome.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2195.

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Date of creation: Aug 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2195
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  1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  2. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  3. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Seonghwan Oh, 1990. "When and How Much to Talk: Credibility and Flexibility in Monetary Policy With Private Information," UCLA Economics Working Papers 593, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1998. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," CFS Working Paper Series 1998/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  6. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. Lars E O Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Bank of England working papers 56, Bank of England.
  8. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Cheap Talk and the Fed: A Theory of Imprecise Policy Announcements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 32-42, March.
  9. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
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  15. Walsh, Carl E, 1999. "Announcements, Inflation Targeting and Central Bank Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 255-69, May.
  16. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1996. "What Does the Bundesbank Target?," NBER Working Papers 5764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Walsh, Carl E, 1986. "In Defense of Base Drift," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 692-700, September.
  18. von Hagen, J, 1995. "Inflation and Monetary Targeting in Germany," Papers 03, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
  19. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Carl E. Walsh, 1998. "U.S. inflation targeting: pro and con," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may29.
  20. Fischer, Stanley, 1990. "Rules versus discretion in monetary policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 1155-1184 Elsevier.
  21. Lewis, Karen K, 1991. "Why Doesn't Society Minimize Central Bank Secrecy?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 403-15, July.
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