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Does a Good Central Banker make a Difference?

  • Matthias Neuenkirch


    (University of Trier)

  • Peter Tillmann


    (University of Giessen)

The personalities of central bankers moved center stage during the recent financial crisis. Some central bankers even gained “superstar” status. In this paper, we evaluate the pivotal role of superstar central bankers by assessing the difference an outstanding governor makes to economic performance. We employ school grades given to central bankers by the financial press. A superstar central banker is one receiving the top grade. In a probit estimation we first relate the grades to measures of economic performance, institutional features, and personal characteristics. We then employ a nearest neighbor matching approach to identify the central bankers which are closest to those receiving the top grade and compare the economic performance across both groups. The results suggest that a superstar governor indeed matters: a topgraded central banker faces a significantly more favorable output-inflation trade-off than his peers.

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Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 201354.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201354
Contact details of provider: Postal: Universitätsstraße 25, 35037 Marburg
Phone: 06421/28-1722
Fax: 06421/28-4858
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  18. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2012. "Inflation Targeting, Credibility, and Non-Linear Taylor Rules," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201235, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  19. Mark Harris & Paul Levine & Christopher Spencer, 2011. "A decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 413-442, March.
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  21. Henry W. Chappell & Thomas M. Havrilesky & Rob Roy McGregor, 1993. "Partisan Monetary Policies: Presidential Influence Through the Power of Appointment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 185-218.
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  23. Chappell, Henry Jr. & Havrilesky, Thomas M. & McGregor, Rob Roy, 1995. "Policymakers, institutions, and central bank decisions," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 113-136, May.
  24. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Haan, Jakob de, 2010. "When is a central bank governor replaced? Evidence based on a new data set," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 766-781, September.
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  26. Matthias Neuenkirch & Florian Neumeier, 2013. "Party Affiliation Rather than Former Occupation: The Background of Central Bank Governors and its Effect on Monetary Policy," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201336, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
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