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When can an Independent Central Bank offer lower Inflation at no Cost? A Political Economy Analysis


  • Andrew Hughes Hallett
  • Maria Demertzis


An Independent Central Bank is often associated with being able to achieve low inflation and greater output stability than government run policies. In this paper we examine whether, and under what circumstances, an independent Central Bank can achieve both these targets with only one policy instrument at its disposal. This turns out to be possible in some special cases, or sometimes for limited periods of time, but not in general. It is an outcome which arises when increasingly conservative policies reduce the 2 target, 1 instrument conflicts, rather than from the suppression of any political cycle.

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  • Andrew Hughes Hallett & Maria Demertzis, "undated". "When can an Independent Central Bank offer lower Inflation at no Cost? A Political Economy Analysis," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:00-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. 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.
    3. Posen, Adam, 1998. "Central Bank Independence and Disinflationary Credibility: A Missing Link?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 335-359, July.
    4. 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 151-162, May.
    5. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Viegi, Nicola, 2004. "An independent central bank faced with elected governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 907-922, November.
    6. Demertzis, Maria, 2004. "Central Bank independence: Low inflation at no cost? A numerical simulations exercise," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 661-677, December.
    7. Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Mangano, Gabriel, 1998. "Measuring Central Bank Independence: A Tale of Subjectivity and of Its Consequences," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 468-492, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Demertzis & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Nicola Viegi, 1999. "Can the ECB be Truly Independent? Should It Be?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 217-240, September.

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