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How should central banks communicate?

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  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Fratzscher, Marcel

Abstract

The paper shows that central bank communication is a key determinant of the market's ability to anticipate monetary policy decisions and the future path of interest rates. Comparing communication policies by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the ECB since 1999, we find that communicating the diversity of views among committee members about monetary policy lowers the market's ability to anticipate policy decisions as well as the future path of interest rates. This effect is sizeable, accounting for instance for one third to half of the prediction errors of FOMC policy decisions. By contrast, individualistic communication regarding the economic outlook is found to be beneficial for the Federal Reserve, enabling market participants to better anticipate the future path of interest rates. Thus, it is the collegiality of views on monetary policy but the diversity of views on the economic outlook that enhance the effectiveness of central bank communication. JEL Classification: E43, E52, E58, G12

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "How should central banks communicate?," Working Paper Series 557, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2005557
    Note: 203739
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    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp557.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    15. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2007. "Transparency, Disclosure, and the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 179-225, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van der Cruijsen, Carin A.B. & Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Hoogduin, Lex H., 2010. "Optimal central bank transparency," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1482-1507, December.
    2. Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2009. "The communication policy of the European Central Bank: An overview of the first decade," DNB Working Papers 212, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Juan Camilo Anzoátegui Zapata & Juan Camilo Galvis, 2019. "Efectos de la comunicación del banco central sobre los títulos públicos: evidencia empírica para Colombia," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, vol. 38(77), pages 337-364, July.
    4. David-Jan Jansen & Richhild Moessner, 2016. "Communicating dissent on monetary policy: Evidence from central bank minutes," DNB Working Papers 512, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni & Acocella, Nicola, 2012. "A general theory of controllability and expectations anchoring for small-open economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 397-411.
    6. Carlo Rosa & Giovanni Verga, 2006. "The Impact of Central Bank Announcements on Asset Prices in Real Time: Testing the Efficiency of the Euribor Futures Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0764, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Helge Berger & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2011. "Monetary Policy in the Media," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(4), pages 689-709, June.
    8. Acocella, Nicola & Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2008. "When Can Central Banks Anchor Expectations? Policy communication and controllability," CEPR Discussion Papers 7078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Dimitris Christelis & Dimitris Georgarakos & Tullio Jappelli & Maarten van Rooij, 2020. "Trust in the Central Bank and Inflation Expectations," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(6), pages 1-37, December.
    10. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Hughes Hallett Andrew & Acocella Nicola, 2013. "When Can Policy Makers Anchor Expectations? Dynamic controllability and the limits to time inconsistency," wp.comunite 0104, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    11. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2009. "Purdah—On the Rationale for Central Bank Silence around Policy Meetings," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2‐3), pages 517-528, March.
    12. Hughes Hallett Andrew & Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Acocella Nicola, 2013. "Central banks and economic policy after the crisis: What have we learned?," wp.comunite 0106, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    13. Patrick Luennemann & Dirk Mevis, 2008. "Eurosystem communication and financial market expectations," BCL working papers 30, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    14. Soproni, Luminita, 2011. "The world economic crisis – key moment for redefining the borders of financial communication," MPRA Paper 44779, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. 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.
    16. Pongsak Luangaram & Warapong Wongwachara, 2017. "More Than Words: A Textual Analysis of Monetary Policy Communication," PIER Discussion Papers 54, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Feb 2017.
    17. 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).
    18. Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Rupprecht, 2006. "The Impact of ECB Communication on Financial Market Expectations," KOF Working papers 06-135, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    19. Aleš Bulíř & Martin Čihák & Kateřina Šmídková, 2013. "Writing Clearly: The ECB 's Monetary Policy Communication," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(1), pages 50-72, February.
    20. Jakob Haan, 2008. "The effect of ECB communication on interest rates: An assessment," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 375-398, December.
    21. Rozkrut, Marek & Rybinski, Krzysztof & Sztaba, Lucyna & Szwaja, Radoslaw, 2007. "Quest for central bank communication: Does it pay to be "talkative"?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 176-206, March.
    22. Runchana Pongsaparn & Panda Ketruangroch & Dhanaporn Hirunwong, 2012. "Monetary Policy conduct in Review: The Appropriate Choice of Instruments," Working Papers 2012-05, Monetary Policy Group, Bank of Thailand.
    23. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "Geography or skills: What explains Fed watchers’ forecast accuracy of US monetary policy?," Working Paper Series 695, European Central Bank.
    24. Hussain, Syed Mujahid, 2011. "Simultaneous monetary policy announcements and international stock markets response: An intraday analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 752-764, March.
    25. Jieun Lee & Doojin Ryu & Ali M. Kutan, 2016. "Monetary Policy Announcements, Communication, and Stock Market Liquidity," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 227-250, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank of England; committee; communication; economic outlook; effectiveness; European Central Bank.; Federal Reserve; monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • 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
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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