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The Educational and Professional Background of Central Bankers and its Effect on Inflation – An Empirical Analysis

  • Silja Göhlmann


  • Roland Vaubel

We assume that central banks can control inflation so that inflation rates reflect the preferences of the central bank council.The hypothesis to be tested is that these preferences depend on the central bankers’ educational and/or professional background. In a panel data analysis for the euro area and eleven countries since 1973,we explain inflation first by the weights which the various educational and professional characteristics occupy in the central bank council and second by the education or profession of the median central bank council member. Our results indicate that, with regard to professional background, former members of the central bank staff as well as former bankers and businessmen have the strongest inflation aversion and that former trade unionists and politicians seem to have the highest inflation preference.As for the education of the council members, our results are less robust. However, if the median member of the central bank council has studied business, the inflation rate is significantly lower than if she has studied economics.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0025.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0025
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  1. Vaubel, Roland, 1997. "Reply to Berger and Woitek," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 823-827, December.
  2. Vaubel, Roland, 1997. "The bureaucratic and partisan behavior of independent central banks: German and international evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 201-224, May.
  3. Rob Roy McGregor, 1996. "Fomc Voting Behavior And Electoral Cycles: Partisan Ideology And Partisan Loyalty," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 17-32, 03.
  4. Leertouwer, Erik & Maier, Philipp, 2001. "Who creates political business cycles: should central banks be blamed?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 445-463, September.
  5. Maier, Philipp & Bezoen, Saskia, 2004. "Bashing and supporting central banks: the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 923-939, November.
  6. Neumann, Manfred J. M. & Greiber, Claus, 2004. "Inflation and core money growth in the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,36, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. Posen, Adam, 1998. "Central Bank Independence and Disinflationary Credibility: A Missing Link?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 335-59, July.
  8. Maier, Philipp & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & de Haan, Jakob, 2002. "Political pressure on the Bundesbank: an empirical investigation using the Havrilesky approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 103-123, March.
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