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Writing Clearly; ECB’s Monetary Policy Communication

  • Martin Cihák
  • Katerina Smídková
  • Ales Bulir

The paper presents a methodology for measuring the clarity of central bank communication, illustrating it with the case of the European Central Bank (ECB) in 1999-2007. The analysis identifies the ECB's written communication as clear about 95 percent of instances, which is comparable to, or even better than, other central banks for which a similar analysis is available. We also find that the additional information contained in the ECB's Monthly Bulletins helps to improve communication clarity compared to ECB's press releases. In particular, the Bulletins contain useful clarifying information on individual inflation factors and the overall forecast risk; in contrast, the bulletin's communication on monetary shocks has a negative, albeit small, impact on clarity.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/252.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/252
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  1. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "The Importance of Being Vigilant: Has ECB Communication Influenced Euro Area Inflation Expectations?," DNB Working Papers 148, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & Spencer Dale & Pär Österholm, 2008. "Imperfect Central Bank Communication; Information Versus Distraction," IMF Working Papers 08/60, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Coffinet, Jerome & Gouteron, Sylvain, 2007. "Euro area market reactions to the monetary developments press release," Working Paper Series 0792, European Central Bank.
  5. Andrew G. Haldane & Nicoletta Batini, 1998. "Forward-Looking Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "Forecasting ECB monetary policy: accuracy is (still) a matter of geography," Discussion Papers 2006/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  7. Carlo Rosa & Giovanni Verga, 2005. "Is ECB Communication Effective?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0682, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Katerina Smidkova, 2003. "Targeting Inflation under Uncertainty: Policy Makers' Perspective," Research and Policy Notes 2003/02, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  9. Richard Dennis & John C. Williams, 2007. "Monetary policy, transparency, and credibility: conference summary," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may25.
  10. Barbara Roffia & Andrea Zaghini, 2008. "Excess money growth and inflation dynamics," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 657, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  11. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  12. Robert Tchaidze & Alina Carare, 2004. "The Use and Abuse of Taylor Rules: How precisely can we estimate them?," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 132, Econometric Society.
  13. Christian Conrad & Michael J. Lamla, 2007. "The High-Frequency Response of the EUR-US Dollar Exchange Rate to ECB Monetary Policy Announcements," KOF Working papers 07-174, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  14. S Derlind, Paul & S Derstr M, Ulf & Vredin, Anders, 2005. "Dynamic Taylor Rules And The Predictability Of Interest Rates," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 412-428, June.
  15. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "How should central banks communicate?," Working Paper Series 0557, European Central Bank.
  16. Podpiera, Jiri­, 2008. "Monetary policy inertia reconsidered: Evidence from endogenous interest rate trajectory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 238-240, August.
  17. Katerina Smídková & Viktor Kotlán & David Navrátil & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Communication; It Pays off to Read Inflation Reports," IMF Working Papers 08/234, International Monetary Fund.
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