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Central Bank Independence, Accountability and Transparency: Complements or Strategic Substitutes?

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  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew
  • Libich, Jan

Abstract

The paper incorporates three institutional design features into a Kydland-Prescott, Barro-Gordon monetary policy game. It shows that goal-independence and goal-transparency (an explicit inflation target) at the central bank are substitute ‘commitment technologies’ that reduce inflation and build credibility. In addition, goal-transparency is shown to be socially superior as it also lowers public’s monitoring cost. Nevertheless, independent central bankers are less likely to embrace it if they perceive public scrutiny (accountability) as intrusive. Combining these findings implies that both goal-transparency and accountability will be negatively related to goal-independence for which we present empirical support using established indices. Our analysis further suggests that, to avoid an inferior equilibrium with opaque objectives and a ‘democratic deficit’, institutional reforms should follow the Bank of England scenario, in which an explicit inflation target is first legislated and only then instrument (but not goal) independence granted.

Suggested Citation

  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Libich, Jan, 2006. "Central Bank Independence, Accountability and Transparency: Complements or Strategic Substitutes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5470
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    Cited by:

    1. Masciandaro, Donato & Romelli, Davide, 2015. "Ups and downs of central bank independence from the Great Inflation to the Great Recession: theory, institutions and empirics," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 259-289, December.
    2. Masciandaro, Donato & Quintyn, Marc & Taylor, Michael W., 2008. "Inside and outside the central bank: Independence and accountability in financial supervision: Trends and determinants," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 833-848, December.
    3. Donato Masciandaro & Mr. Marc G Quintyn & Mr. Michael W Taylor, 2008. "Financial Supervisory Independence and Accountability–Exploring the Determinants," IMF Working Papers 2008/147, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moise, 2008. "Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union in the Presence of Uncertainty about the Central Bank Preferences," MPRA Paper 13907, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2009.
    5. Christoph S. Weber, 2018. "Central bank transparency and inflation (volatility) – new evidence," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 21-67, January.
    6. Mihailov, Alexander & Ullrich, Katrin, 2007. "Independence and Accountability of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Committees," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-044, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. van der Cruijsen, C.A.B., 2008. "The economic impact of central bank transparency," Other publications TiSEM 86c1ba91-1952-45b4-adac-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Papadamou, Stephanos, 2013. "Market anticipation of monetary policy actions and interest rate transmission to US Treasury market rates," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 545-551.
    9. Jan Libich, 2006. "Inflexibility Of Inflation Targeting Revisited: Modeling The "Anchoring" Effect," CAMA Working Papers 2006-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    10. Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2014. "The link between transparency and independence of central banks," Journal of Risk & Control, Risk Market Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 51-60.
    11. Carin van der Cruijsen & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2007. "The economic impact of central bank transparency: a survey," DNB Working Papers 132, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    12. Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields And Methods From Past To Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 769-800, September.
    13. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions with central bank transparency and public investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 195-208, September.
    14. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.
    15. Carsten Hefeker, 2006. "EMU Enlargement, Policy Uncertainty and Economic Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1767, CESifo.
    16. Katrin Ullrich, 2007. "Introducing Instruments of Central Bank Accountability in a Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 239-262, July.
    17. Meixing Dai & Moïse Sidiropoulos, 2009. "Public investment, distortionary taxes and monetary policy transparency," Working Papers of BETA 2009-30, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    accountability; central bank independence; inflation targeting; monitoring; transparency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • 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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