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How much does the public know about the ECB's monetary policy? Evidence from a survey of Dutch households

  • van der Cruijsen, Carin
  • Jansen, David-Jan
  • de Haan, Jakob

Does the general public know what central banks do? Is this kind of knowledge relevant? Using a survey of Dutch households, we investigate these questions for the case of the European Central Bank (ECB). Our findings suggest that knowledge on the ECB’s objectives is far from perfect. Both a weak desire to be informed and unawareness of insufficient knowledge are barriers for improving the public's understanding of monetary policy. However, our results also show that more intensive use of information improves understanding, suggesting that the media channel may play an important and constructive role in building knowledge. Finally, we find that knowledge on monetary policy objectives contributes to an individual's ability to form realistic inflation expectations. JEL Classification: D12, D84, E52, E58

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1265.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101265
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  1. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  2. David-Jan Jansen & Robert Mosch & Carin van der Cruijsen, 2013. "When does the general public lose trust in banks?," DNB Working Papers 402, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  3. William A. Branch, 2004. "The Theory of Rationally Heterogeneous Expectations: Evidence from Survey Data on Inflation Expectations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 592-621, 07.
  4. 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.
  5. Neuenkirch, Matthias, 2012. "Managing financial market expectations: The role of central bank transparency and central bank communication," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-13.
  6. Juster, F. Thomas, 1981. "An expectational view of consumer spending prospects," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 87-103, June.
  7. Ehrmann, Michael & Tzamourani, Panagiota, 2012. "Memories of high inflation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 174-191.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769, 06-2016.
  9. Magee, L. & Robb, A. L. & Burbidge, J. B., 1998. "On the use of sampling weights when estimating regression models with survey data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 251-271, June.
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