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Politics and Monetary Policy

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  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Fratzscher, Marcel

Abstract

How and why do politicians’ preferences about monetary policy differ from the interest rates set by independent central banks? Looking at the European Central Bank, the paper shows that politicians, on average, favor significantly lower interest rates. Three factors explain the different preferences. First, politicians put relatively less weight on inflation (and more on output) in their preferred monetary policy reaction function. Second, politicians’ preferences are affected by political economy motives. Third, different preferences are also, and largely, due to different constituencies, as politicians primarily focus on national economic objectives rather than the euro area as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2010. "Politics and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8143
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    Cited by:

    1. de Haan, J. & Eijffinger, Sylvester, 2016. "The Politics of Central Bank Independence," Discussion Paper 2016-047, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Helge Berger & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2011. "Monetary Policy in the Media," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(4), pages 689-709, June.
    3. Belke, Ansgar & Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Does government ideology matter in monetary policy? A panel data analysis for OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1126-1139.
    4. Klodiana Istrefi & Anamaria Piloiu, 2020. "Public Opinion on Central Banks when Economic Policy is Uncertain," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 130(2), pages 283-306.
    5. Ehrmann, Michael & Osbat, Chiara & Stráský, Jan & Uusküla, Lenno, 2014. "The euro exchange rate during the European sovereign debt crisis – Dancing to its own tune?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(PB), pages 319-339.
    6. de Haan Jakob, 2019. "Some Reflections on the Political Economy of Monetary Policy," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 70(3), pages 213-228, December.
    7. Michael J. Lamla & Damjan Pfajfar & Lea Rendell, 2019. "Inflation and deflationary biases in inflation expectations," BIS Working Papers 789, Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Ehrmann, Michael & Stracca, Livio & Soudan, Michel, 2012. "Explaining EU citizens’ trust in the ECB in normal and crisis times," Working Paper Series 1501, European Central Bank.
    9. Marcus Drometer & Thomas Siemsen & Sebastian Watzka, 2018. "The Monetary Policy of the ECB: Caring for the Weakest Links," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 537-556, November.
    10. Jill Vardy, 2015. "Reputational Risk Management in Central Banks," Discussion Papers 15-16, Bank of Canada.
    11. Salter, Alexander W. & Smith, Daniel J., 2019. "Political economists or political economists? The role of political environments in the formation of fed policy under burns, Greenspan, and Bernanke," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 1-13.
    12. Roman Horvath & Dominika Katuscakova, 2016. "Transparency and trust: the case of the European Central Bank," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(57), pages 5625-5638, December.
    13. Wildmer Daniel Gregori & Wildmer Agnese Sacchi, 2016. "Has the Grexit news spilled over into euro area financial markets? The role of domestic political leaders, supranational executives and institutions," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 134, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    14. Gregori, Wildmer Daniel & Sacchi, Agnese, 2019. "Has the Grexit news affected euro area financial markets?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 71-84.
    15. Michael Lamla & Damjan Pfajfar & Lea Rendell, 2018. "Confidence in Central Banks and Inflation Expectations," 2018 Meeting Papers 945, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Matthias Bauer, 2013. "Political Aversion To a Multilateral Fiscal Rule: The Dynamic Commitment Problem in European Fiscal Governance," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 44-2013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    delegation; European Central Bank; interest rates; monetary policy; time inconsistency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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