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Distrust in the ECB – product of failed crisis prevention or of inappropriate cure?


  • Albinowski, Maciej
  • Ciżkowicz, Piotr
  • Rzońca, Andrzej


We contribute to the new, albeit fast-growing empirical literature on the determinants of trust in central banks. Like in most other studies we use panel data models based on the Eurobarometer survey on trust in the European Central Bank. Firstly, we confirm the main conclusion from previous studies that the trust in the ECB has suffered from the crisis’ outburst. Moreover, households perceive the ECB’s responsibility for the occurrence of the crisis to go beyond the responsibility of other institutions. This finding casts some doubt on the central bank’s ability to manage expectations in a country having been hit by a severe negative demand shock, while this ability is precondition of the central banks’ power to boost aggregate demand when its interest rates are at the zero lower bound. Secondly (and most importantly), in addition to previous studies, we examine the links between the trust in the ECB and its policy. Our main result is that when households have pessimistic expectations, aggressive cuts in interest rates have an adverse effect on their trust in central bank. This result is in accordance with the ‘lack-of-confidence shock’ hypothesis developed by Schmitt-Grohé and Uribe (2012) and go against the ‘fundamental shock’ hypothesis which would imply positive effects of aggressive cuts for trust in the ECB. These findings are robust to changes in the estimation method, the definition of the lack of confidence shock, control variables and countries under consideration. We also show that it cannot be easily rejected as spurious

Suggested Citation

  • Albinowski, Maciej & Ciżkowicz, Piotr & Rzońca, Andrzej, 2013. "Distrust in the ECB – product of failed crisis prevention or of inappropriate cure?," MPRA Paper 48242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48242

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Etienne Farvaque & Muhammad Azmat Hayat & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Who Supports the ECB? Evidence from Eurobarometer Survey Data," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2011-04, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    3. Anton Nakov, 2008. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2), pages 73-127, June.
    4. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2007. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 728-752, April.
    5. Etienne Farvaque & Muhammad Azmat Hayat & Alexander Mihailov, 2017. "Who Supports the ECB? Evidence from Eurobarometer Survey Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 654-677, April.
    6. Jordi Galí & Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2012. "Slow Recoveries: A Structural Interpretation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 9-30, December.
    7. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2011. "The central-bank balance sheet as an instrument of monetarypolicy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 54-79, January.
    8. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
    9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "The Making Of A Great Contraction With A Liquidity Trap and A Jobless Recovery," NBER Working Papers 18544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Martina Cecioni & Giuseppe Ferrero & Alessandro Secchi, 2011. "Unconventional Monetary Policy in Theory and in Practice," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 102, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2011-04 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kotaro Ishi & Kenji Fujita & Mark R. Stone, 2011. "Should Unconventional Balance Sheet Policies Be Added to the Central Bank toolkit? a Review of the Experience so Far," IMF Working Papers 11/145, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
    14. Bursian, Dirk & Faia, Ester, 2013. "Trust in the monetary authority," SAFE Working Paper Series 14, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    15. Borio, Claudio, 2014. "The financial cycle and macroeconomics: What have we learnt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 182-198.
    16. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "The Making Of A Great Contraction With A Liquidity Trap and A Jobless Recovery," CEPR Discussion Papers 9237, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2012. "Disentangling the Channels of the 2007-2009 Recession," NBER Working Papers 18094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Timo Henckel & Gordon D. Menzies & Daniel J. Zizzo, 2013. "The Great Recession and the Two Dimensions of European Central Bank Credibility," CAMA Working Papers 2013-55, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Roman Horvath & Dominika Katuscakova, 2016. "Transparency and trust: the case of the European Central Bank," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(57), pages 5625-5638, December.
    3. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca, 2015. "Inflation Targeting and its Discontents: The Case of Poland," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 65(supplemen), pages 107-122, December.
    4. Piotr Cizkowicz & Andrzej Rzonca & Andrzej Toroj, 2015. "In search for appropriate lower bound.Zero lower bound vs. positive lower bound under discretion and commitment," NBP Working Papers 215, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.

    More about this item


    trust in central banks; zero lower bound; lack-of-confidence shock; Eurobarometer; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management

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