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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Hoeberichts & Mewael Tesfaselassie & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2004. "Central Bank Communication and Output Stabilization," DNB Working Papers 003, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 369-397, May.
    5. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, August.
    6. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    7. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1045-1084.
    8. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
    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. 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 218-235, May.
    11. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2005. "Monetary policy with judgment: forecast targeting," Working Paper Series 476, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2010. "Macroeconomic shocks, unionized labour markets and central bank disclosure policy: How beneficial is increased transparency?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 506-516, December.
    2. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2007. "The timing of central bank communication," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 124-145, March.
    3. Menguy, Séverine, 2006. "Les limites du cadre institutionnel européen," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(3), pages 395-418, septembre.
    4. 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.
    5. Pacheco, Luis, 2010. "ECB Projections: should leave it to the pros?," Working Papers 11/2010, Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE).
    6. Meixing Dai & Moïse Sidiropoulos & Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2015. "Fiscal Policy, Institutional Quality and Central Bank Transparency," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(5), pages 523-545, September.
    7. Christoph S. Weber, 2017. "The Unemployment Effect of Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers 172, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    8. 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.
    9. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2016. "From Silence to Voice: Monetary Policy, Central Bank Governance and Communication," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1627, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

    More about this item


    monetary policy; central bank; information processing; expectation formation;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • 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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