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Dissent Voting Behavior of Central Bankers: What Do We Really Know?

We examine the determinants of the dissent in central bank boards’ voting records about monetary policy rates in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. In contrast to previous studies, we consider about 25 different macroeconomic, financial, institutional, psychological or preference-related factors jointly and deal formally with the attendant model uncertainty using Bayesian model averaging. We find that the rate of dissent is between 5% and 20% in these central banks. Our results suggest that most regressors, including those capturing the effect of inflation and output, are not robust determinants of voting dissent. The difference in central bankers’ preferences is likely to drive the dissent in the U.S. Fed and the Bank of England. For the Czech and Hungarian central banks, average dissent tends to be larger when policy rates are changed. Some evidence is also found that food price volatility tends to increase the voting dissent in the U.S. Fed and in Riksbank.

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Paper provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its series Working Papers IES with number 2012/05.

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Length: 22pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision: Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2012_05
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  2. Besley, Timothy & Meads, Neil & Surico, Paolo, 2007. "Insiders versus Outsiders in Monetary Policy-Making," Discussion Papers 20, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
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  12. Theo Eicher & Chris Papageogiou & Adrian E Raftery, 2007. "Default Priors and Predictive Performance in Bayesian Model Averaging, with Application to Growth Determinants," Working Papers UWEC-2007-25-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  13. Chappell, Henry W, Jr & McGregor, Rob Roy & Vermilyea, Todd, 2004. "Majority Rule, Consensus Building, and the Power of the Chairman: Arthur Burns and the FOMC," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 407-22, June.
  14. Meade, Ellen E & Sheets, D Nathan, 2005. "Regional Influences on FOMC Voting Patterns," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 661-77, August.
  15. Jan Marc Berk & Beata Bierut & Ellen E. Meade, 2010. "The Dynamic Voting Patterns of the Bank of England's MPC," Working Papers 2010-17, American University, Department of Economics.
  16. Erhart, Szilárd & Vasquez-Paz, Jose Luis, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: theory and cross country evidence," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 439, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  17. 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.
  18. Henry W. Chappell Jr. & Rob Roy McGregor, 2000. "A Long History of FOMC Voting Behavior," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 906-922, April.
  19. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark F. J. Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 563-576.
  20. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch & Tonny Lybek, 2007. "Central Bank Boards around the World: Why does Membership Size Differ?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1897, CESifo Group Munich.
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  22. Henry W. Chappell & Thomas M. Havrilesky & Rob Roy McGregor, 2000. "Monetary Policy Preferences Of Individual Fomc Members: A Content Analysis Of The Memoranda Of Discussion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 454-460, August.
  23. Arnab Bhattacharjee & Sean Holly, 2010. "Rational Partisan Theory, Uncertainty, And Spatial Voting: Evidence For The Bank Of England'S Mpc," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 151-179, 07.
  24. 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.
  25. Erhart, Szilárd & Vasquez-Paz, Jose Luis, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: theory and cross country evidence," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 439, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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  27. Hansen, Stephen & McMahon, Michael, 2011. "How Experts Decide : Identifying Preferences versus Signals from Policy Decisions," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 963, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  28. Eduardo Ley & Mark F.J. Steel, 2009. "On the effect of prior assumptions in Bayesian model averaging with applications to growth regression This article was published online on 30 March 2009. An error was subsequently identified. This not," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 651-674.
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