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The Information Content of Central Bank Minutes


  • Apel, Mikael

    () (Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

  • Blix Grimaldi, Marianna

    () (Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Sweden)


One characteristic feature of central banks today is that policy decisions are almost exclusively made by a committee rather than by a single policy maker. Another is that central banks are considerably more transparent than they used to be. Together, this has brought to the fore an important but so far unresolved issue: to what extent should a central bank’s communication reflect the full spectrum of opinions among its committee members? Does information on all members’ views make monetary policy easier to understand and predict, or does it make it harder? We address this issue by employing a novel method. We measure the sentiment and tone of the minutes of the Swedish central bank using an automated content analysis that converts the qualitative information in the minutes to a quantitative measure. We find that this measure is useful in predicting future policy rate decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Apel, Mikael & Blix Grimaldi, Marianna, 2012. "The Information Content of Central Bank Minutes," Working Paper Series 261, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0261

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blinder, Alan S., 2007. "Monetary policy by committee: Why and how?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 106-123, March.
    2. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    3. Michelle T. Armesto & Rubén Hernández-Murillo & Michael T. Owyang & Jeremy Piger, 2009. "Measuring the Information Content of the Beige Book: A Mixed Data Sampling Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 35-55, February.
    4. Apel, Mikael & Claussen, Carl Andreas & Lennartsdotter, Petra, 2010. "Picking the Brains of MPC Members," Working Paper Series 237, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    5. Buti,Marco & Deroose,Servaas & Gaspar,Vitor & Martins,João Nogueira (ed.), 2010. "The Euro," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9789279098420, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kedan, Danielle & Stuart, Rebecca, 2014. "Central Bank Communications: A Comparative Study," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 89-104, April.
    2. Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2016. "Central Bank Sentiment and Policy Expectations," Sciences Po publications 2016-29, Sciences Po.
    3. Andreas Neuhierl & Michael Weber, 2016. "Monetary Policy and the Stock Market: Time-Series Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6199, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2016. "Shocking Language: Understanding the Macroeconomic Effects of Central Bank Communication," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2015 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Petra Geraats, 2014. "Monetary Policy Transparency," CESifo Working Paper Series 4611, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2016. "Central Bank Sentiment and Policy Expectations," Sciences Po publications 2016-29, Sciences Po.
    7. Tobback, Ellen & Nardelli, Stefano & Martens, David, 2017. "Between hawks and doves: measuring central bank communication," Working Paper Series 2085, European Central Bank.
    8. David-Jan Jansen & Richhild Moessner, 2016. "Communicating dissent on monetary policy: Evidence from central bank minutes," DNB Working Papers 512, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. Rosa, Carlo, 2013. "The financial market effect of FOMC minutes," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 67-81.
    10. repec:eee:jimfin:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:136-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kedan, Danielle & Stuart, Rebecca, 2014. "Central Bank Minutes," Economic Letters 12/EL/14, Central Bank of Ireland.

    More about this item


    Central Bank Communication; Minutes; Content Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • 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

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