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Independence Day for the “Old Lady? A Natural Experiment on the Implications of Central Bank Independence

  • Jagjit S. Chadha
  • Peter Macmillan

    ()

  • Charles Nolan

    ()

Central bank independence is widely thought be a sine qua non of a credible commitment to price stability. The surprise decision by the UK government to grant operational independence to the Bank of England in 1997 affords us a natural experiment with which to gauge the impact on the yield curve from the adoption of central bank independence. We document the extent to which the decision to grant independence was ‘news?and illustrate that the reduction in medium and long term nominal interest rates was some 50 basis points, which we show to be consistent with a sharp increase in policymaker’s aversion to inflation deviations from target. We suggest therefore central bank independence represents one of the clearest signals available to elected politicians about their preferences on the control of inflation.

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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200602.

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Date of creation: 15 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0602
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  4. Cecchetti, Stephen G & McConnell, Margaret M & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel, 2002. "Policymakers' Revealed Preferences and the Output-Inflation Variability Trade-Off: Implications for the European System of Central Banks," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 596-618, Special I.
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  7. Ellingsen, Tore & Söderström, Ulf, 1998. "Monetary Policy and Market Interest Rates," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 242, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Mar 1999.
  8. D. Robertson & J. Symons, 1993. "Real interest rates and index linked gilts," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20923, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  11. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robertson, D & Symons, J, 1994. "Five Weeks in the Life of the Pound. Interest Rates, Expectations and Sterling's Exit from the ERM," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 56(1), pages 1-12, February.
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