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Monetary Policy by Committee:Consensus, Chairman Dominance or Simple Majority?

  • RIBONI, Alessandro
  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J.

This paper studies the theoretical and empirical implications of monetary policy making by committee under three different voting protocols. The protocols are a consensus model, where super-majority is required for a policy change; an agenda-setting model, where the chairman controls the agenda; and a simple majority model, where policy is determined by the median member. These protocols give preeminence to different aspects of the actual decision making process and capture the observed heterogeneity in formal procedures across central banks. The models are estimated by Maximum Likehood using interest rate decisions by the committees of five central banks, namely the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Swedish Riksbank, and the U.S. Federal Reserve. For all central banks, results indicate that the consensus model is statically superior to the alternative models. This suggests that despite institutionnal differences, committees share unwritten rules and informal procedures that deliver observationally equivalent policy decisions.

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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2008-02.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-02
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  1. Diermeier, Daniel & Gailmard, Sean, 2006. "Self-Interest, Inequality, and Entitlement in Majoritarian Decision-Making," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 327-350, October.
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  13. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:1:p:305-339 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Szilárd Erhart & Jose Luis Vasquez-Paz, 2007. "Optimal Monetary Policy Committee Size: Theory and Cross Country Evidence," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 439, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  15. Anke Weber, 2010. "Communication, Decision making, and the Optimal Degree of Transparency of Monetary Policy Committees," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 6(3), pages 1-49, September.
  16. Dal Bo, Ernesto, 2006. "Committees with supermajority voting yield commitment with flexibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 573-599, May.
  17. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
  18. Philipp Maier, 2007. "Monetary Policy Committees in Action: Is There Room for Improvement?," Staff Working Papers 07-6, Bank of Canada.
  19. Arnab Bhattacharjee & Sean Holly, 2006. "Taking Personalities out of Monetary Policy Decision Making? Interactions, Heterogeneity and Committee Decisions in the Bank of England’s MPC," CDMA Working Paper Series 200612, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
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