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Central Bank Communication and Output Stabilization

  • Marco Hoeberichts

    (De Nederlandsche Bank)

  • Mewael F. Tesfaselassie

    (Tilburg University)

  • Sylvester Eijffinge

    (Tilburg University)

Some central banks have a reputation for being secretive. A justification for this behaviour that we find in the literature is that being transparent about operations and beliefs hinders the central bank in achieving the best outcome. In other words, a central bank needs flexibility and therefore cannot be fully transparent. Using a forward-looking New-Keynesian model, we find exactly the opposite. A central bank that is conservative improves output stabilization by being transparent about the procedures it uses to assess the economy and, especially, about the forecast errors it makes. Under certain conditions transparency by a conservative central bank also improves interest rate stabilization. We also find that higher transparency makes it optimal for the central bank to be more conservative as the benefits from higher transparency in terms of output stabilization are greater the more conservative the central bank is.

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Paper provided by Money Macro and Finance Research Group in its series Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 with number 98.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc04:98
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  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1045-1084.
  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. Carlos Bowles & Roberta Friz & Veronique Genre & Geoff Kenny & Aidan Meyler & Tuomas Rautanen, 2007. "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience," Occasional Paper Series 59, European Central Bank.
  4. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," CEPR Discussion Papers 1852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1997. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers : Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Discussion Paper 1997-47, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  8. 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.
  9. Andrew Hallett & Jan Libich, 2012. "Explicit inflation targets and central bank independence: friends or foes?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 271-297, November.
  10. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Judgment: Forecast Targeting," NBER Working Papers 11167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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