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How Experts Decide: Preferences or Private Assessments on a Monetary Policy Committee?

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Hansen
  • Carlos Velasco Rivera
  • Michael McMahon

Abstract

Using voting data from the Bank of England, we show that different individual assessments of the economy strongly influence votes after controlling for individual policy preferences. We estimate that internal members form more precise assessments than externals and are also more hawkish, though preference differences are very small if members vote strategically. Counterfactual analysis shows that committees add value through aggregating private assessments, but that gains to larger committees taper off quickly beyond five members. There is no evidence that externals add value through preference moderation. Since their assessments also have lower precision, mixed committees may not be optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Hansen & Carlos Velasco Rivera & Michael McMahon, 2013. "How Experts Decide: Preferences or Private Assessments on a Monetary Policy Committee?," CAMA Working Papers 2013-19, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2013-19
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2017-02/19_2013_hmv2012_full_paper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Clare Lombardelli & James Proudman & James Talbot, 2005. "Committees Versus Individuals: An Experimental Analysis of Monetary Policy Decision-Making," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
    2. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
    3. Arnab Bhattacharjee & Sean Holly, 2004. "Inflation Targeting, committee Decision Making and Uncertainty: The case of the Bank of England's MPC," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 63, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    4. Blinder, Alan S., 2007. "Monetary policy by committee: Why and how?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 106-123, March.
    5. Mihov, Ilian & Sibert, Anne, 2006. "Credibility and Flexibility with Independent Monetary Policy Committees," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 23-46, February.
    6. Mark Harris & Paul Levine & Christopher Spencer, 2011. "A decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 413-442, March.
    7. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
    8. Timothy Besley & Neil Meads & Paolo Surico, 2008. "Insiders versus Outsiders in Monetary Policymaking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 218-223, May.
    9. Christopher Spencer, 2006. "The Dissent Voting Behaviour of Bank of England MPC Members," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0306, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    10. Anne Sibert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 649-665.
    11. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance, or Simple Majority?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 363-416.
    12. Matias Iaryczower & Matthew Shum, 2012. "The Value of Information in the Court: Get It Right, Keep It Tight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 202-237, February.
    13. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2013. "Estimating Bayesian Decision Problems with Heterogeneous Priors," CAMA Working Papers 2013-18, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Stephen Eliot Hansen & Michael McMahon & Andrea Prat, 2014. "Transparency and deliberation within the FOMC: A computational linguistics approach," Economics Working Papers 1425, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Committees; Monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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