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The Role of Transparency in the Conduct of Monetary Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Makoto Minegishi


  • Boris Cournède


In contrast to the once prevailing norm of secrecy and opaqueness, transparency has now become one of the main features characterising the conduct of monetary policy. Detailed analysis of eleven OECD central banks shows that communication practices have converged markedly in the direction of ever greater transparency. Empirical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that transparency contributes to the successful conduct of monetary policy: higher transparency is a typical element of monetary frameworks that are associated with better anchored inflation expectations and more stable inflation outcomes. Despite this general trend toward increased transparency, however, central banks differ in actual communication practices. There is a particular divergence with respect to transparency in the decision-making process and communication regarding future policy inclination. Although the appropriate degree of transparency in these areas is an unsettled issue, the fact that financial dislocation is impairing conventional monetary transmission makes these two areas critical for policy implementation. Le rôle de la transparence dans la conduite de la politique monétaire À rebours des habitudes de secrets et d’opacité qui ont pu prévaloir par le passé, la transparence constitue désormais un moyen essentiel de mise en œuvre de la politique monétaire. Une étude approfondie des pratiques de onze banques centrales de la zone OCDE confirme la convergence vers toujours plus de transparence. Les résultats empiriques sont cohérents avec l’hypothèse selon laquelle la transparence contribue à l’efficacité de la politique monétaire : en moyenne, les cadres de politique monétaire qui fournissent un meilleur ancrage des anticipations d’inflation et une inflation plus stable s’appuient sur un niveau plus élevé de transparence. Malgré une tendance générale vers davantage de transparence, les pratiques de communication diffèrent encore sensiblement d’une banque centrale à l’autre. Les divergences sont particulièrement marquées s’agissant de la transparence à propos des procédures de décision et de l’orientation future de la politique monétaire. Bien que le degré optimal de transparence sur ces deux sujets demeure un objet de débat, le fait que les troubles financiers actuels obèrent les canaux traditionnels de transmission de la politique monétaire donne à ces deux questions une importance toute particulière.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 724.

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Date of creation: 25 Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:724-en
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