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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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