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Dissent and Disagreement on the Fed's FOMC: Understanding Regional Affiliations and limits to Transparency

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  • Ellen Meade

Abstract

This paper addresses two important, but distinct, issues in monetary policy. The first issue concerns regional influences on voting within a monetary policy committee. In a committee that includes representatives from different regions or countries, is there a regional element to the monetary policy decision or to the votes cast by monetary policymakers? The second issue concerns possible limits to transparency. In an independent central bank that strives to be accountable and to communicate its policy effectively, are there circumstances under which increasing transparency could be harmful? The answer to both of these questions with respect to the Federal Reserve is "maybe".

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen Meade, 2006. "Dissent and Disagreement on the Fed's FOMC: Understanding Regional Affiliations and limits to Transparency," DNB Working Papers 094, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:094
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    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/binaries/Working%20Paper%2094_tcm46-146751.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:pri:cepsud:114blinderreis is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1991. "Regional economic conditions and the FOMC votes of district presidents," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 3-16.
    3. Belden, Susan, 1989. "Policy Preferences of FOMC Members as Revealed by Dissenting Votes," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(4), pages 432-441, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Havrilesky, Thomas & Gildea, John A, 1992. "Reliable and Unreliable Partisan Appointees to the Board of Governors," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(4), pages 397-417, June.
    6. Meade, Ellen E & Sheets, D Nathan, 2005. "Regional Influences on FOMC Voting Patterns," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 661-677, August.
    7. Alan S. Blinder & Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Understanding the Greenspan standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 11-96.
    8. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "Communication and decision-making by central bank committees: different strategies, same effectiveness?," Working Paper Series 488, European Central Bank.
    9. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
    10. Alberto Alesina, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-678.
    11. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2009. "Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 831-853, August.
    12. EllenE. Meade & David Stasavage, 2008. "Publicity of Debate and the Incentive to Dissent: Evidence from the US Federal Reserve," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 695-717, April.
    13. Anne Sibert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 649-665.
    14. Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1991. "Are district presidents more conservative than board governors?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-12.
    15. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2007. "Communication by Central Bank Committee Members: Different Strategies, Same Effectiveness?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 509-541, March.
    16. Havrilesky, Thomas & Gildea, John, 1995. "The Biases of Federal Reserve Bank Presidents," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 274-284, April.
    17. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
    18. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    19. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    20. Gildea, John A, 1992. "The Regional Representation of Federal Reserve Bank Presidents," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 215-225, May.
    21. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Crowe, Christopher, 2010. "Testing the transparency benefits of inflation targeting: Evidence from private sector forecasts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 226-232, March.
    2. Stephen Golub & Ayse Kaya & Michael Reay, 2015. "What were they thinking? The Federal Reserve in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 657-692, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central banking; Federal Reserve; FOMC; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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