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Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union

  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Hahn, Volker

We examine whether the central bank council of a monetary union should publish its voting records when members are appointed by national politicians. We show that the publication of voting records lowers overall welfare if the private benefits of holding office are sufficiently low. High private benefits of central bankers lower overall welfare under opacity, as they induce European central bankers to care more about being re-appointed than about beneficial policy outcomes. We show that opacity and low private benefits jointly guarantee the optimal welfare level. Moreover, we suggest that non-renewable terms for national central bankers and delegating the appointment of all council members to a European agency would be desirable.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5155.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5155
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  1. Waller, Christopher J & Walsh, Carl E, 1996. "Central-Bank Independence, Economic Behavior, and Optimal Term Lengths," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1139-53, December.
  2. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
  3. Anne Sibert, 1999. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," CESifo Working Paper Series 226, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
  5. Huefner, Felix P & Friedrich Heinemann, 2003. "Is the View from the Eurotower Purely European? - National Divergence and ECB Interest Rate Policy," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 110, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Felgenhauer, Mike & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Committees and special interests," Working Paper Series 0293, European Central Bank.
  7. Meade, Ellen E & Sheets, D Nathan, 2005. "Regional Influences on FOMC Voting Patterns," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 661-77, August.
  8. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2004. "Voting Transparency, Conflicting Interests, And The Appointment Of Central Bankers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16, pages 321-345, November.
  9. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  10. Christopher J. Waller, 2000. "Policy Boards And Policy Smoothing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 305-339, February.
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