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Whom can we trust to run the Fed? Theoretical support for the founders' views

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  • Jon Faust

Abstract

The Federal Reserve Act erected a unique structure of government decision­making, independent with elaborate rules balancing internal power. Historical evidence suggests that this outcome was a response to public conflict over inflation's redistributive powers. This paper documents and formalizes this argument: in the face of conflict over redistributive inflation, policy by majority can lead to policy that is worse, even for the majority, than obvious alternatives. The bargaining solution of an independent board with properly balanced interests leads to a better outcome. Technically, this paper extends earlier work in making policy preferences fully endogenous and in extending the notion of equilibrium policy to such a world. Substantively, this work provides a simple grounding of policy preferences--largely missing heretofore--linking game theoretic models of policy to historical evidence about the formation of an independent monetary authority.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon Faust, 1992. "Whom can we trust to run the Fed? Theoretical support for the founders' views," International Finance Discussion Papers 429, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Brendan O'Flaherty, 1990. "The Care And Handling Of Monetary Authorities," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 25-44, March.
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    8. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1987. "Reputational constraints on monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 141-181, January.
    9. Havrilesky, Thomas M, 1987. "A Partisanship Theory of Fiscal and Monetary Regimes," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(3), pages 308-325, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
    2. Casella, Alessandra, 2000. "Games for Central Bankers: Markets vs. Politics in Public Policy Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Stefania Albanesi, "undated". "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," Working Papers 207, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Debora Di Gioacchino & Sergio Ginebri & Laura Sabani, 2004. "Political support for anti-inflationary monetary policy," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 187-200.
    5. Etienne Farvaque & Alexander Mihailov, 2008. "Intergenerational Transmission of Inflation Aversion: Theory and Evidence," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2008-71, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    6. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-397, May.
    7. Allan Drazen, 2002. "Central Bank Independence, Democracy, and Dollarization," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 5, pages 1-17, May.
    8. Corinne Aaron-Cureau & Hubert Kempf, 2006. "Bargaining over monetary policy in a monetary union and the case for appointing an independent central banker," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-27, January.
    9. Blinder, Alan S., 2007. "Monetary policy by committee: Why and how?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 106-123, March.
    10. Berthold Herrendorf & Manfred J.M. Neumann, 2003. "The Political Economy of Inflation, Labour Market Distortions and Central Bank Independence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 43-64, January.
    11. Bullard, James & Waller, Christopher J, 2004. "Central Bank Design in General Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 95-113, February.
    12. Loungani, Prakash & Sheets, Nathan, 1997. "Central Bank Independence, Inflation, and Growth in Transition Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 381-399, August.
    13. Berthold Herrendorf & Manfred Neumann, 2000. "A nonnormative theory of inflation and central bank independence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(2), pages 315-333, June.
    14. Keiichi Morimoto, 2009. "Optimal Structure of Monetary Policy Committees," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 09-36, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    15. Christopher J. Waller, 1998. "Appointing the median voter of a policy board," Working Paper 9802, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    16. Alan S. Blinder, 1997. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: What Central Bankers Could Learn from Academics--And Vice Versa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 3-19, Spring.

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