IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

When does delegation improve credibility? Central Bank independence and the separation of powers

  • Philip Keefer
  • David Stasavage

Delegation and policy rules are frequently suggested strategies for governments to establish credible commitments. Existing literature on rules and delegation in macroeconomic policy has generally avoided the question of why governments that delegate or establish rules do not subsequently reverse this decision. Either the decision is assumed to be irreversible, or reversal is assumed to be “politically costly” without further explanation. We develop several hypotheses which suggest that the difficulty in reversing a decision to delegate (or to establish a rule) depends on the structure of a country’s political institutions. Credible commitment through delegation can only be obtained in countries where political institutions provide for checks and balances on executive authority. Checks and balances ensure that the decision to override a legally independent central bank is not the prerogative of a single actor (or veto player). In countries with these characteristics, the extent of credibility gains will be greatest when political instability is moderate and when polarization is high. We find support for these hypotheses in tests using cross-country data - from both developed and developing countries - on central bank independence and political institutions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/9818text.PDF
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 1998-18.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1998-18
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Guido Tabellini & Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," UCLA Economics Working Papers 539, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Jonathan D. Ostry & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  5. James M. Poterba, 1993. "State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics," NBER Working Papers 4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mark Hallerberg & Jurgen von Hagen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Working Papers 6341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
  8. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  9. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 10, December.
  10. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  11. Alex Cukierman & Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," NBER Working Papers 3199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  14. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
  16. 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.
  17. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1998-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.