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Clarity of Central Bank Communication About Inflation

  • Ales Bulir
  • David-Jan Jansen
  • Martin Cihak

This paper examines whether the clarity of central bank communication about inflation has changed with the economic environment. We use readability statistics and content analysis to study the clarity of communication on the inflation outlook by seven central banks between 1997 and 2010. Overall, we find no strong indications that central banks were less clear in explaining their policies when faced with higher uncertainty or a less favorable inflation outlook. The global financial crisis, however, did have a negative impact on clarity of central bank communication.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/9.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/9
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  1. Born, Benjamin & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2011. "Central bank communication on financial stability," Working Paper Series 1332, European Central Bank.
  2. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
  3. Malcolm D. Knight & Chair, 2005. "General discussion : central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 495-505.
  4. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2004. "Is the MPC's Voting Record Informative about Future UK Monetary Policy?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 299-313, 06.
  5. 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," DNB Working Papers 170, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. Sònia Muñoz & Samir Jahjah & Martin Cihak & Sharika Teh Sharifuddin & Kalin I Tintchev, 2012. "Financial Stability Reports; What Are they Good for?," IMF Working Papers 12/1, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Alan Blinder, 2009. "Talking about monetary policy: the virtues (and vice?) of central bank communication," BIS Working Papers 274, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central Bank Communication and Policy Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jansen, David-Jan, 2011. "Mumbling with great incoherence: Was it really so difficult to understand Alan Greenspan?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 70-72, October.
  10. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  11. repec:pri:cepsud:161blinder is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Ales Bulir & David-Jan Jansen & Martin Cihak, 2012. "Clarity of Central Bank Communication About Inflation," IMF Working Papers 12/9, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Martin Cihak & Katerina Smídková & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Writing Clearly; ECB’s Monetary Policy Communication," IMF Working Papers 08/252, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Tiff Macklem, 2005. "Commentary : central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 475-494.
  15. 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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