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Central bank communication on fiscal policy

Author

Listed:
  • Catenaro, Marco
  • Vidal, Jean-Pierre
  • Wolswijk, Guido
  • Allard, Julien

Abstract

While the established literature on central bank communication has traditionally dealt with communication of monetary policy messages to financial markets and the wider public, central bank communication on fiscal policy has so far received little attention. This paper empirically reviews the intensity of central banks’ fiscal communication by five central banks (the US Federal Reserve, the ECB, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Swedish Riksbank) over the period 1999-2011. To that end, it develops a fiscal indicator measuring the fiscal-related communication in minutes or introductory statements. Our findings indicate that the ECB communicates intensively on fiscal policies in both positive as well as normative terms. Other central banks more typically refer to fiscal policy when describing foreign developments relevant to domestic macroeconomic developments, when using fiscal policy as input to forecasts, or when referring to the use of government debt instruments in monetary policy operations. The empirical analysis also indicates that the financial crisis has overall increased the intensity of central bank communication on fiscal policy. It identifies the evolution of the government deficit ratio as a driver of the intensity of fiscal communication by central banks in the euro area, the US and Japan, and for Sweden since the start of the crisis. In England the fiscal share in central bank communication is related to developments in government debt as of the start of the crisis. JEL Classification: E58, E61, E63

Suggested Citation

  • Catenaro, Marco & Vidal, Jean-Pierre & Wolswijk, Guido & Allard, Julien, 2012. "Central bank communication on fiscal policy," Working Paper Series 1477, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121477
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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, pages 910-945.
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    3. Rosa, Carlo & Verga, Giovanni, 2007. "On the consistency and effectiveness of central bank communication: Evidence from the ECB," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 146-175, March.
    4. Blattner, Tobias & Catenaro, Marco & Ehrmann, Michael & Strauch, Rolf & Turunen, Jarkko, 2008. "The predictability of monetary policy," Occasional Paper Series 83, European Central Bank.
    5. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2010. "An Assessment of the Consistency of ECB Communication using Wordscores," DNB Working Papers 259, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2008. "Communication and exchange rate policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 1651-1672.
    7. Marek Rozkrut, 2008. "It’s not only WHAT is said, it’s also WHO the speaker is. Evaluating the effectiveness of central bank communication," NBP Working Papers 47, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    8. repec:pri:cepsud:161blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David O. Lucca & Francesco Trebbi, 2009. "Measuring Central Bank Communication: An Automated Approach with Application to FOMC Statements," NBER Working Papers 15367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2008. "Communication and exchange rate policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 1651-1672.
    11. Antonio Spilimbergo & Martin Schindler & Steven A. Symansky, 2009. "Fiscal Multipliers," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/11, International Monetary Fund.
    12. 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.
    13. Martin Cihak & Katerina Smídková & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Writing Clearly; ECB’s Monetary Policy Communication," IMF Working Papers 08/252, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Nicola Giammarioli & Christiane Nickel & Philipp Rother & Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2007. "Assessing fiscal soundness - Theory and practice," Occasional Paper Series 56, European Central Bank.
    15. Ana Lamo & Javier J. Pérez & Ludger Schuknecht, 2008. "Public and private sector wages:comovement and casuality," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2008/14, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    16. Tobias Blattner & Marco Catenaro & Michael Ehrmann & Rolf Strauch & Jarkko Turunen, 2008. "The predictability of monetary policy," Occasional Paper Series 83, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "Minority positions in the German Council of Economic Experts: A political economic analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 180-187.
    2. Beckmann, Joscha & Czudaj, Robert, 2017. "Exchange rate expectations and economic policy uncertainty," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 148-162.
    3. Joaquin Iglesias & Alvaro Ortiz & Tomasa Rodrigo, 2017. "How do the EM Central Bank talk? A Big Data approach to the Central Bank of Turkey," Working Papers 17/24, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    4. David Bholat & Stephen Hans & Pedro Santos & Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey, 2015. "Text mining for central banks," Handbooks, Centre for Central Banking Studies, Bank of England, edition 1, number 33.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank communication; fiscal policy; quantification of verbal information;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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