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Why adopt transparency? The publication of central bank forecasts

  • Geraats, Petra M.

Recently, several central banks have abandoned the usual secrecy in monetary policy and become very transparent. This paper provides an explanation for this puzzling fact, focussing on the disclosure of central bank forecasts. It shows that transparency reduces the inflationary bias and gives the central bank greater flexibility to respond to shocks in the economy. Furthermore, it makes it easier for a central bank to build reputation. To achieve these benefits of transparency it is generally necessary to publish the conditional central bank forecasts for both inflation and output. JEL Classification: E52, E58

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0041.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20010041
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  1. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
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  4. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1999. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Papers 669, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  5. Jensen, Henrik, 2001. "Optimal degrees of transparency in monetary policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  7. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1996. "Federal Reserve Private Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 5692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Hahn, Volker & Gersbach, Hans, 2001. "Should the Individual Voting Records of Central Bankers be Published?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  11. Tarkka, Juha & Mayes, David, 1999. "The Value of Publishing Official Central Bank Forecasts," Research Discussion Papers 22/1999, Bank of Finland.
  12. W.H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," CEP Discussion Papers dp0423, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Oh, Seonghwan, 1995. "When and how much to talk credibility and flexibility in monetary policy with private information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 341-357, April.
  15. David Backus & John Driffill, 1984. "Inflation and Reputation," Working Papers 560, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  16. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
  17. Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  18. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
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