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The Measurement of Central Bank Autonomy; Survey of Models, Indicators, and Empirical Evidence

  • Bernard Laurens
  • Marco Arnone
  • Jean-François Segalotto

This paper presents a survey of the literature on the measurement of central bank autonomy. We distinguish inputs that constitute the building blocks in the literature, and the literature that builds on them. Issues including sensitivity analysis, robustness, and endogeneity are discussed. The review shows that empirical evidence regarding the beneficial effects of central bank autonomy is substantial, although some technical issues still remain for further research. In particular, central bank autonomy raises the issue of subjecting the monetary authorities to democratic control; this calls for additional research on the linkages between central bank autonomy and accountability and transparency. Additional empirical analysis on the relationship between the financial strength of the central bank and its de facto autonomy, and between its autonomy and financial stability, would also be desirable.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/227.

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Length: 83
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/227
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  1. M.A. Jenkins, 1996. "Central bank independence and inflation performance: panacea or placebo?," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 49(197), pages 241-270.
  2. Bindseil, Ulrich & Manzanares, Andrés & Weller, Benedict, 2004. "The role of central bank capital revisited," Working Paper Series 0392, European Central Bank.
  3. Brumm, Harold J, 2000. "Inflation and Central Bank Independence: Conventional Wisdom Redux," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 807-19, November.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
  5. Cukierman, Alex & Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Summers, Lawrence H. & Webb, Steven B., 1993. "Central bank independence, growth, investment, and real rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 95-140, December.
  6. Alan S. Blinder, 2000. "Central-Bank Credibility: Why Do We Care? How Do We Build It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1421-1431, December.
  7. Alain Ize, 2005. "Capitalizing Central Banks; A Net Worth Approach," IMF Working Papers 05/15, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Forder, James, 1998. "The case for an independent European central bank: A reassessment of evidence and sources," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 53-71, February.
  9. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Laurence Ball, 1993. "What determines the sacrifice ratio?," Working Papers 93-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  12. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-11, May.
  13. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1997. "Why Does Inflation Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 335-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Oatley, Thomas, 1999. " Central Bank Independence and Inflation: Corporatism, Partisanship, and Alternative Indices of Central Bank Independence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 399-413, March.
  15. Hafiz A. Akhand, 1998. "Central Bank Independence and Growth: A Sensitivity Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 303-317, May.
  16. Grubb, David B. & Jackman, Richard & Layard, Richard, 1983. "Wage rigidity and unemployment in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 11-39.
  17. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  18. Peter Stella, 1997. "Do Central Banks Need Capital?," IMF Working Papers 97/83, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Jean-François Segalotto & Marco Arnone & Bernard Laurens, 2006. "Measures of Central Bank Autonomy; Empirical Evidence for OECD, Developing, and Emerging Market Economies," IMF Working Papers 06/228, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Peter Stella, 2005. "Central Bank Financial Strength, Transparency, and Policy Credibility," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(2), pages 335-365, September.
  21. Andreas Fischer, 1996. "Central bank independence and sacrifice ratios," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 5-18, January.
  22. T.F. Cargill, 1995. "The statistical association between central bank independence and inflation," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(193), pages 159-172.
  23. Cukierman, Alex & Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Central bank independence, centralization of wage bargaining, inflation and unemployment:: Theory and some evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1395-1434, June.
  24. Kilponen, Juha, 1999. "Central Bank Independence and Wage Bargaining Structure - Empirical Evidence," Research Discussion Papers 9/1999, Bank of Finland.
  25. M.A. Jenkins, 1996. "Central bank independence and inflation performance: panacea or placebo?," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 49(197), pages 241-270.
  26. T.F. Cargill, 1995. "The statistical association between central bank independence and inflation," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(193), pages 159-172.
  27. Guy Debelle, 1996. "The Ends of Three Small Inflations: Australia, New Zealand and Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(1), pages 56-78, March.
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