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Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy

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  • Helge Berger
  • Volker Nitsch

Abstract

How many people should decide about monetary policy? In this paper, we take an empirical perspective on this issue, analyzing the relationship between the number of monetary policy decision-makers and monetary policy outcomes. Using a new data set that characterizes Monetary Policy Committees (MPCs) in more than 30 countries from 1960 through 2000, we find a U-shaped relation between the membership size of MPCs and inflation; our results suggest that the lowest level of inflation is reached at MPCs with about seven to ten members. Similar results are obtained for other measures, such as inflation variability and output growth. We also find that MPC size influences the success of monetary targeting regimes. In contrast, there is no evidence that either turnover rates of MPC members or the membership composition of MPCs affect economic outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," KOF Working papers 08-195, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-195
    DOI: 10.3929/ethz-a-005626058
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    2. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2013. "Monetary policy decisions – comparing theory and “inside” information from MPC members," Working Paper 2013/03, Norges Bank.
    3. Daniel Seidmann, 2011. "A theory of voting patterns and performance in private and public committees," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(1), pages 49-74, January.
    4. repec:ces:ifodic:v:10:y:2012:i:1:p:18175040 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
    6. Badinger, Harald & Nitsch, Volker, 2014. "National representation in supranational institutions: The case of the European Central Bank," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 19-33.
    7. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2015. "Optimal Conservatism and Collective Monetary Policymaking under Uncertainty," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 259-278, April.
    8. Keiichi Morimoto, 2021. "Information Use and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(10), pages 1-22, May.
    9. Harald Badinger & Volker Nitsch, 2012. "Supranationalism in Monetary Policy Decision-Making," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(01), pages 27-31, April.
    10. Farvaque Etienne & Hammadou Hakim & Stanek Piotr, 2011. "Selecting Your Inflation Targeters: Background and Performance of Monetary Policy Committee Members," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 223-238, May.
    11. Esteban Colla De Robertis, 2010. "Monetary Committee Size and Special Interest Influence," Documentos de Investigación - Research Papers 2, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    12. Michael Brei & Blaise Gadanecz, 2021. "Inter-agency coordination bodies and the speed of prudential policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic," BIS Working Papers 969, Bank for International Settlements.
    13. Bryan C. McCannon & Paul Walker, 2020. "Individual Competence and Committee Decision Making: Experimental Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(4), pages 1531-1558, April.
    14. Harald Badinger & Volker Nitsch, 2012. "Supranationalism in Monetary Policy Decision-Making," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(1), pages 27-31, 04.
    15. Harald Badinger & Volker Nitsch, 2011. "National Representation in Multinational Institutions: The Case of the European Central Bank," CESifo Working Paper Series 3573, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central bank design; Monetary policy committee; Central bank board; Central bank council; Governance; Inflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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