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Central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty: Substitutes or complements?

This paper revisits the trade-off between central bank independence and conservatism using a New Keynesian model with uncertainty about the central banker's output gap target. It is shown that when this uncertainty is high, the trade-off no longer holds. In this case, the optimal combination between independence and conservatism is characterised by complementarity.

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Paper provided by Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht in its series Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge with number 140-10.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:140-10
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  1. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1999. "Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets under Uncertainty: Why We Might Need Conservative Central Bankers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 241-54, May.
  2. 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 369-97, May.
  3. Alex Cukierman, 2009. "The Limits of Transparency," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-37, 02.
  4. Cukierman, Alex & Lippi, Francesco, 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1847, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Jensen, H., 1996. "Inflation targets and contracts with uncertain central banker preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Jensen, Henrik, 2002. " Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
  7. Francesco Lippi, 1999. "Median Voter Preferences, Central Bank Independence and Conservatism," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 351, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  8. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2009. "Central Bank Transparency: Causes, Consequences and Updates," NBER Working Papers 14791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  10. Niklas J. Westelius, 2006. "Imperfect Transparency and Shifts in the Central Bank's Output Gap Target," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 415, Hunter College Department of Economics, revised 2008.
  11. 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," DNB Working Papers 170, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  12. Svensson, Lars & Faust, Jon, 1999. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Seminar Papers 669, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. S[empty]rensen, Jan Rose, 1991. "Political uncertainty and macroeconomic performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 377-381, December.
  14. Berlemann, Michael & Hilscher, Kai, 2010. "Effective monetary policy conservatism: A comparison of 11 OECD countries," HWWI Research Papers 2-21, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  15. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2002. "Independence Before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics, and Central Bank Design," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0202, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  16. Geraats, P.M., 2004. "Transparency and Reputation: The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0473, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Petra Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," CESifo Working Paper Series 2584, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. 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.
  19. Crowe, Christopher & Meade, Ellen E., 2008. "Central bank independence and transparency: Evolution and effectiveness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 763-777, December.
  20. Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W, 2001. " Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 3-40, February.
  21. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2008. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Policy in an Asymmetric Monetary Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 2389, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Muscatelli, Anton, 1998. "Optimal Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets with Uncertain Central Bank Preferences: Accountability through Independence?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 529-42, March.
  23. Weymark, Diana N., 2007. "Inflation, government transfers, and optimal central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 297-315, February.
  24. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2009. "Forecasting ECB monetary policy: Accuracy is a matter of geography," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1028-1041, November.
  25. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  26. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco, 1998. "The Trade off between Central Bank Independence and Conservativeness," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 397-411, July.
  27. Helge Berger & Ulrich Woitek, 2005. "Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 745-766, 07.
  28. Siklos, Pierre L., 2008. "No single definition of central bank independence is right for all countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 802-816, December.
  29. Frederic S Mishkin, 2004. "Can Central Bank Transparency Go Too Far?," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
  30. Grüner, Hans Peter & Hayo, Bernd & Hefeker, Carsten, 2005. "Unions, wage setting and monetary policy uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0490, European Central Bank.
  31. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
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