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Delegation of Monetary Policy: More than a Relocation of the Time-Inconsistency Problem

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  • Driffill, John
  • Rotondi, Zeno

Abstract

It has been argued that delegation of monetary policy to an independent central bank, which acts as an agent for the government, does not mitigate the problem of time-inconsistency, but merely relocates it. We argue here that this is not so, and that delegation enables a wider class of economies to sustain zero inflation than would be able to do so in its absence. We consider an economy in which the government faces re-appointment costs, that is, costs associated with sacking one central banker and replacing them with another, costs which are intended to protect central bank independence. We show that, by means of suitable announcements of incentive schemes for the central bank, combined with appropriate actually implemented schemes, delegated policy enables zero inflation to prevail in economies in which it could not do so without delegated policy. These economies are ones that have relatively high discount rates (and so low discount factors).

Suggested Citation

  • Driffill, John & Rotondi, Zeno, 2003. "Delegation of Monetary Policy: More than a Relocation of the Time-Inconsistency Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 3923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3923
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-211, May.
    3. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
    4. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Inflation and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 530-538, June.
    5. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    6. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-920, December.
    7. Herrendorf, Berthold, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Way of Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 431-448, July.
    8. Adam S. Posen, 1995. "Declarations Are Not Enough: Financial Sector Sources of Central Bank Independence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 253-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. António Caleiro, 2004. "Economic Policies and Elections. A principal-agent point of view," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 20, pages 89-101, December.
    2. Ullrich, Katrin, 2003. "Unabhängigkeit und Verantwortlichkeit der Europäischen Zentralbank," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-65, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    credibility; delegation; independent central banks; monetary policy; time-inconsistency;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • 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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