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Central Bank Communication and Output Stabilization

  • Marco Hoeberichts
  • Mewael Tesfaselassie
  • Sylvester Eijffinger

Some central banks have a reputation for being secretive. A justification for that behavior thatwe find in the literature is that being transparent about its operations and beliefs hinders the central bank in achieving the best outcome. In other words, a central bank needs flexibility and therefore cannot be fully transparent. Using a forward-looking New-Keynesian model, we find exactly the opposite. A central bank that is conservative improves output stabilization by being transparent about the procedures it uses to assess the economy and, especially, about the forecast errors it makes. Under certain conditions transparency by a conservative central bank also improves interest rate stabilization. We also find that higher transparency makes it optimal for the central bank to be more conservative as the benefits from higher transparency in terms of output stabilization are greater the more conservative the central bank is.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 003.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:003
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Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/

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  1. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2000. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 218-35, May.
  2. Lars E O Svensson, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Judgment: Forecast Targeting," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
  3. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," Other publications TiSEM b34dfb1f-520f-4787-a08f-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  5. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  6. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Research Discussion Papers 29/2002, Bank of Finland.
  7. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-97, May.
  8. Carlos Bowles & Roberta Friz & Veronique Genre & Geoff Kenny & Aidan Meyler & Tuomas Rautanen, 2007. "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience," Occasional Paper Series 59, European Central Bank.
  9. Andrew Hallett & Jan Libich, 2012. "Explicit inflation targets and central bank independence: friends or foes?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 271-297, November.
  10. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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