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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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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-siegen.de/vwl/repec/sie/papers/140-10.pdf
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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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Web page: http://www.uni-siegen.de/fb5/vwl/research/diskussionsbeitraege/Email:


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  1. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2195, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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 910-45, December.
  3. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," NBER Working Papers 6452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Petra M. Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 235-268, 08.
  5. Lippi, F., 1999. "Median Voter Preferences, Central Bank Independence and Conservatis," Papers 351, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  6. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2004. "Can Central Bank Transparency Go Too Far?," NBER Working Papers 10829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Westelius, Niklas J., 2009. "Imperfect transparency and shifts in the central bank's output gap target," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 985-996, April.
  8. 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.
  9. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M., 1998. "The trade off between central bank independence and conservativeness," Other publications TiSEM edcd13f6-471a-415a-b14e-5, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W, 2000. "Central Bank Independence: An Update of Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Diana N. Weymark, 2005. "Inflation, Government Transfers, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0502, .
  12. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-76576 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.
  14. Alex Cukierman, 2007. "The limits of transparency," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Jensen, Henrik, 2001. "Optimal degrees of transparency in monetary policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  16. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2011. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Policy in an Asymmetric Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 163-178, February.
  17. Gruener Hans Peter & Hayo Bernd & Hefeker Carsten, 2009. "Unions, Wage Setting and Monetary Policy Uncertainty," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, October.
  18. S[empty]rensen, Jan Rose, 1991. "Political uncertainty and macroeconomic performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 377-381, December.
  19. 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.
  20. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana, 2002. "Independence before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics and Central Bank Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 1562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2009. "Central Bank Transparency: Causes, Consequences and Updates," NBER Working Papers 14791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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).
  27. 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.
  28. Christopher Crowe & Ellen E. Meade, 2007. "Central Bank Independence and Transparency: Evolution and Effectiveness," Working Papers 2007-20, American University, Department of Economics.
  29. 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.
  30. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment: Theory and Evidence," Papers 332, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  31. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  32. Weymark, Diana N., 2007. "Inflation, government transfers, and optimal central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 297-315, February.
  33. 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.
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