IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The role of central bank transparency for guiding private sector forecasts

  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Eijffinger, Sylvester
  • Fratzscher, Marcel

There is a broad consensus in the literature that costs of information processing and acquisition may generate costly disagreements in expectations among economic agents, and that central banks may play a central role in reducing such dispersion in expectations. This paper analyses empirically whether enhanced central bank transparency lowers dispersion among professional forecasters of key economic variables, using a large set of proxies for central bank transparency in 12 advanced economies. It finds evidence for a significant and sizeable effect of central bank transparency on forecast dispersion, be it by means of announcing a quantified inflation objective, other forms of communication, or by publishing central banks’ inflation and output forecasts. However, there also appear to be limits to central bank transparency, with decreasing marginal returns to enhancing (economic) transparency, and given our findings that disagreement among inflation expectations in the general public is not affected by the various central bank transparency measures analyzed in this paper. JEL Classification: E37, E52, C53

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1146.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101146
Contact details of provider: Postal: 60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-45, December.
  2. Thomas Maag & Michael J. Lamla, 2009. "The Role of Media for Inflation Forecast Disagreement of Households and Professionals," KOF Working papers 09-223, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations Of Households And Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298, February.
  4. Fujiwara, Ippei, 2005. "Is the central bank's publication of economic forecasts influential?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 255-261, December.
  5. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Craig Hakkio, 2009. "Inflation targeting and private sector forecasts," NBER Working Papers 15424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Roberto Rigobon, 2005. "Stocks, Bonds, Money Markets and Exchange Rates: Measuring International Financial Transmission," NBER Working Papers 11166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Beechey, Meredith J & Johannsen, Benjamin K & Levin, Andrew, 2007. "Are Long-Run Inflation Expectations Anchored More Firmly in the Euro Area than in the United States?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central Bank Communication and Policy Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Christopher W. Crowe, 2006. "Testing the Transparency Benefits of Inflation Targeting: Evidence from Private Sector Forecasts," IMF Working Papers 06/289, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo & Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Research Papers 1807, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  12. Christopher Crowe & Ellen E. Meade, 2007. "The Evolution of Central Bank Governance around the World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 69-90, Fall.
  13. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P.M., 2004. "How Transparent Are Central Banks?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0411, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  14. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Clara Vega, 2002. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-23, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Bauer, Andrew & Eisenbeis, Robert & Waggoner, Daniel & Zha, Tao, 2006. "Transparency, expectations, and forecasts," Working Paper Series 0637, European Central Bank.
  16. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoogduin, Lex & van der Cruijsen, Carin A B, 2008. "Optimal Central Bank Transparency," CEPR Discussion Papers 6889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Badarinza, Cristian & Buchmann, Marco, 2009. "Inflation perceptions and expectations in the euro area: the role of news," Working Paper Series 1088, European Central Bank.
  20. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  21. Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2009. "Disagreement among Forecasters in G7 Countries," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200906, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  22. Linda S. Goldberg & Michael W. Klein, 2005. "Establishing credibility: evolving perceptions of the European Central Bank," Staff Reports 231, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  23. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2009. "Central Bank Transparency: Causes, Consequences and Updates," NBER Working Papers 14791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Andrade, P. & Le Bihan, H., 2010. "Inattentive professional forecasters," Working papers 307, Banque de France.
  25. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
  26. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & van der Cruijsen, Carin A B, 2007. "Actual Versus Perceived Central Bank Transparency: The case of the European Central Bank," CEPR Discussion Papers 6525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2009. "Disagreement and Biases in Inflation Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 365-396, 03.
  28. Christopher W. Crowe & Ellen E. Meade, 2008. "Central Bank Independence and Transparency: Evolution and Effectiveness," IMF Working Papers 08/119, International Monetary Fund.
  29. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  30. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  31. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  32. Chortareas, Georgios & Jitmaneeroj, Boonlert & Wood, Andrew, 2012. "Forecast rationality and monetary policy frameworks: Evidence from UK interest rate forecasts," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 209-231.
  33. Stefania D'Amico & Athanasios Orphanides, 2008. "Uncertainty and disagreement in economic forecasting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101146. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.