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Optimal monetary policy committee size: Theory and cross country evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Szilárd Erhart

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)

  • Jose-Luis Vasquez-Paz

    (Banco Central de Reserva del Peru)

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical studies of different sciences suggest that an optimal committee consists of roughly 5-9 members, although it can swell mildly under specific circumstances. This paper develops a conceptual model in order to analyze the issue in case of monetary policy formulation. The optimal monetary policy committee (MPC) size varies according to the uncertainty of MPC members’ information influenced by the size of the monetary zone and overall economic stability. Our conceptual model is backed up with econometric evidence using a 2006 survey of 85 countries. The survey is available for further research and published on the web. The MPC size of large monetary zones (EMU, USA, Japan) is close to the estimated optimal level, but there exist several smaller countries with too many or too few MPC members.

Suggested Citation

  • Szilárd Erhart & Jose-Luis Vasquez-Paz, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: Theory and cross country evidence," MNB Working Papers 2007/6, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
  • Handle: RePEc:mnb:wpaper:2007/6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
    3. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
    4. Helge Berger, 2006. "Optimal central bank design: Benchmarks for the ECB," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 207-235, September.
    5. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2003. "Boards of directors as an endogenously determined institution: a survey of the economic literature," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 7-26.
    6. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2003. "Committee structure and its implications for Monetary policy decision-making," MEB Series (discontinued) 2003-05, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Lustenberger & Enzo Rossi, 2017. "Does Central Bank Transparency and Communication Affect Financial and Macroeconomic Forecasts?," Working Papers 2017-12, Swiss National Bank.
    2. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
    3. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsc, 2011. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 452-475, October.
    4. Roman Horvath & Marek Rusnak & Katerina Smidkova & Jan Zapal, 2014. "The dissent voting behaviour of central bankers: what do we really know?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 450-461, February.
    5. Szilard Erhart & Harmen Lehment & Jose Vasquez Paz, 2010. "Monetary policy committee size and inflation volatility," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-421, December.
    6. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance, or Simple Majority?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 363-416.
    7. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "Making Monetary Policy by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 171-194, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2015. "Monetary Policy Committees: Comparing Theory and "Inside" Information from MPC Members," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 47-89, December.
    10. repec:pri:cepsud:153blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jung, Alexander & Kiss, Gergely, 2012. "Preference heterogeneity in the CEE inflation-targeting countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 445-460.
    12. 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.
    13. Alan S. Blinder, 2007. "On the Design of Monetary Policy Committees," Working Papers 1030, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    14. Horvath, Roman & Rusnak, Marek & Smidkova, Katerina & Zapal, Jan, 2011. "Dissent voting behavior of central bankers: what do we really know?," MPRA Paper 34638, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy committe; mpc size; decision making.;

    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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