IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/onb/oenbwp/123.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Mystique of Central Bank Speak

Author

Listed:
  • Petra M. Geraats

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge)

Abstract

Despite the recent trend towards greater transparency of monetary policy, in many respects mystique still prevails in central bank speak. This paper shows that the resulting perception of ambiguity could be desirable. Under the plausible assumption of imperfect common knowledge about the degree of central bank transparency, economic outcomes are affected by both the actual and perceived degree of transparency. It is shown that actual transparency is beneficial while it may be useful to create the perception of opacity. The optimal communication strategy for the central bank is to provide clarity about the inflation target and to communicate information about the output target and supply shocks with perceived ambiguity. In this respect, the central bank benefits from sustaining transparency misperceptions, which helps to explain the mystique of central bank speak.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra M. Geraats, 2006. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," Working Papers 123, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:123
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.oenb.at/dam/jcr:de5a7fdd-bb6c-4361-b52e-099ddafd9758/wp123_tcm16-42284.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Volker Hahn, 2009. "Transparency of Central Bank Preferences," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(1), pages 32-49, February.
    3. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
    4. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2000. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 218-235, May.
    5. Henrik Jensen, 2002. "Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
    6. Petra M. Geraats, 2006. "Transparency of Monetary Policy: Theory and Practice," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 111-152, March.
    7. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-397, May.
    8. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
    9. S[empty]rensen, Jan Rose, 1991. "Political uncertainty and macroeconomic performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 377-381, December.
    10. Geraats, P.M., 2004. "Modelling Stochastic Relative Preferences," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0468, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    11. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
    12. Geraats Petra M., 2005. "Transparency and Reputation: The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, February.
    13. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    14. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Cheap Talk and the Fed: A Theory of Imprecise Policy Announcements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 32-42, March.
    15. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Jensen, Henrik, 2003. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 129-136, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jansen, David-Jan, 2011. "Mumbling with great incoherence: Was it really so difficult to understand Alan Greenspan?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 70-72, October.
    2. Gunther Tichy, 2011. "Why did policy ignore the harbingers of the crisis?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 107-130, February.
    3. Andrieş, Alin Marius & Nistor, Simona & Sprincean, Nicu, 2020. "The impact of central bank transparency on systemic risk—Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    4. Sánchez, Marcelo, 2012. "Inflation uncertainty and unemployment uncertainty: Why transparency about monetary policy targets matters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 119-122.
    5. Sánchez, Marcelo, 2009. "Monetary Union of Small Open Economies: The Role of Trasparency Misperceptions," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 62(4), pages 469-504.
    6. Julian A. Parra-Polania, 2012. "Transparency: can central banks commit to truthful communication?," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 009614, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    7. Daniel Laskar, 2010. "Central Bank Transparency and Shocks," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00560261, HAL.
    8. Ma, Yong & Li, Shushu, 2015. "Bayesian estimation of China's monetary policy transparency: A New Keynesian approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 236-248.
    9. Papadamou, Stephanos & Sidiropoulos, Moïse & Spyromitros, Eleftherios, 2014. "Does central bank transparency affect stock market volatility?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 362-377.
    10. Gunther Tichy, 2012. "Zum Versagen der Marktdisziplinierung in der Finanzkrise," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13, pages 58-80, May.
    11. Wasim Shahid Malik & Musleh-ud Din, 2008. "Monetary Policy Transparency in Pakistan: An Independent Analysis," PIDE-Working Papers 2008:44, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    12. Timo Henckel & Shaun Vahey & Liz Wakerly, 2011. "Probabilistic interest rate setting with a shadow board: A description of the pilot project," CAMA Working Papers 2011-27, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Petra M. Geraats, 2007. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 37-80, March.
    2. van der Cruijsen, C.A.B. & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2007. "The Economic Impact of Central Bank Transparency : A Survey," Discussion Paper 2007-06, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. van der Cruijsen, C.A.B., 2008. "The economic impact of central bank transparency," Other publications TiSEM 86c1ba91-1952-45b4-adac-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Geraats, P.M., 2005. "Political Pressures and Monetary Mystique," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0557, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Petra M. Geraats, 2006. "Transparency of Monetary Policy: Theory and Practice," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 111-152, March.
    6. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:123:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Meixing Dai & Moïse Sidiropoulos & Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2015. "Fiscal Policy, Institutional Quality and Central Bank Transparency," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(5), pages 523-545, September.
    8. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moise, 2008. "Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union in the Presence of Uncertainty about the Central Bank Preferences," MPRA Paper 13907, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2009.
    9. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2009. "Public investment, distortionary taxes and monetary policy transparency," MPRA Paper 15858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Giuseppe Ciccarone & Enrico Marchetti & Giovanni Di Bartolomeo, 2007. "Unions, Fiscal Policy And Central Bank Transparency," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(5), pages 617-633, September.
    11. Dai, Meixing & Sidiropoulos, Moïse, 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions with central bank transparency and public investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 195-208, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Phillip Lawler & Jonathan James, 2005. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Central Bank Disclosure Policy: Is increased Transparency Necessarily Beneficial?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 27, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    14. James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2010. "Macroeconomic shocks, unionized labour markets and central bank disclosure policy: How beneficial is increased transparency?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 506-516, December.
    15. Volker Hahn, 2009. "Why the Publication of Socially Harmful Information May Be Socially Desirable," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/122, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    16. Turdaliev, Nurlan, 2009. "Transparency in monetary policy: A general equilibrium approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 608-613, May.
    17. Elmar Mertens, 2016. "Managing Beliefs about Monetary Policy under Discretion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(4), pages 661-698, June.
    18. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    19. Petra M. Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 235-268, August.
    20. Meixing Dai, 2016. "Static And Dynamic Effects Of Central Bank Transparency," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 55-78, January.
    21. Wasim Shahid Malik & Musleh-ud Din, 2008. "Monetary Policy Transparency in Pakistan: An Independent Analysis," PIDE-Working Papers 2008:44, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transparency; monetary policy; communication;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:123. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/oenbbat.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Markus Knell and Helmut Stix (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/oenbbat.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.