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Is the ECB Sufficiently Accountable and Transparent?

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More than two years after its inception, the ECB is still perceived as lacking transparency by many academics and market participants. Our analysis, based on a series of indicators, suggests instead that the ECB is, at least on paper, one of the most transparent and accountable central banks. The discrepancy between theory and public perception suggests that much remains to be done within the given institutional framework to improve the transparency of the ECB. What is the best way to achieve this goal? Several suggestions have been put forward, such as publishing the detailed minutes of the ECB Governing Council meetings. This would result in shifting the true debate to informal meetings of the Governing Council, while formal meetings would only record pre-packaged consensus with no or little discussion. In our view, the best way to make the ECB more accountable is to engage it in substantive discussions about its policy. The ECB should provide more information about the background analysis that leads to policy decisions. For example, the ECB should transform its 'staff projections' into true inflation forecasts and it should be more open about the arguments that shape the internal debates, which precedes decisions. Accountability cannot be ensured by the ECB alone. An important role has to be played by its counterparts, such as the European Parliament, the Council of EU Finance Ministers and the public at large.

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  • Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi & Daniel Gros, 2001. "Is the ECB Sufficiently Accountable and Transparent?," Economics Working Papers 007, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  • Handle: RePEc:epr:enepwp:007
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    1. Trump may go after the Federal Reserve
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    1. N. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2014. "Central Bank Transparency and Independence: Updates and New Measures," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(1), pages 189-259, March.
    2. Petra M. Geraats & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger & Carin A.B. van der Cruijsen, 2006. "Does Central Bank Transparency Reduce Interest Rates?," DNB Working Papers 085, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2009. "Central Bank Transparency: Causes, Consequences and Updates," NBER Working Papers 14791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Carsten Hefeker & Michael Neugart, 2014. "The Influence of Central Bank Transparency on Labor Market Regulation," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82(1), pages 17-32, January.
    5. Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2014. "The link between transparency and independence of central banks," Journal of Risk & Control, Risk Market Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 51-60.
    6. Wasim Shahid Malik & Musleh-ud Din, 2008. "Monetary Policy Transparency in Pakistan: An Independent Analysis," PIDE-Working Papers 2008:44, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    7. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    8. N. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Central Bank Transparency: Where, Why, and with What Effects?," NBER Working Papers 13003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. N. Cordemans, 2015. "Monetary policy communication in the wake of the great recession," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 83-101, December.
    10. Jean-Paul Pollin, 2002. "Pour une stratégie de cible d'inflation dans la zone euro," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 65(1), pages 39-68.
    11. Papadamou, Stephanos & Sidiropoulos, Moïse & Spyromitros, Eleftherios, 2017. "Interest rate dynamic effect on stock returns and central bank transparency: Evidence from emerging markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 951-962.
    12. Kevin Ross, 2002. "Market Predictability of ECB Policy Decisions; A Comparative Examination," IMF Working Papers 02/233, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Tuysuz, Sukriye, 2007. "The effects of a greater central bank credibility on interest rates level and volatility response to news in the U.K," MPRA Paper 5263, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Giuseppe Ciccarone & Enrico Marchetti & Giovanni Di Bartolomeo, 2007. "Unions, Fiscal Policy And Central Bank Transparency," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(5), pages 617-633, September.
    15. Roisin O'sullivan & Marc Tomljanovich, 2012. "Inflation targeting and financial market volatility," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(9), pages 749-762, May.
    16. Viv Hall, 2003. "Central Bank Governance: Common Elements or Different Models?," Working Papers 202003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.

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