IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Effectiveness of Central Bank Independence Versus Policy Rules

  • John B. Taylor


    (Stanford University)

This paper assesses the relative effectiveness of central bank independence versus policy rules for the policy instruments in bringing about good economic performance. It examines historical changes in (1) macroeconomic performance, (2) the adherence to rules-based monetary policy, and (3) the degree of central bank independence. Macroeconomic performance is defined in terms of both price stability and output stability. Factors other than monetary policy rules are examined. Both de jure and de facto central bank independence at the Fed are considered. The main finding is that changes in macroeconomic performance during the past half century were closely associated with changes the adherence to rules-based monetary policy and in the degree of de facto monetary independence at the Fed. But changes in economic performance were not associated with changes in de jure central bank independence. Formal central bank independence alone has not generated good monetary policy outcomes. A rules-based framework is essential.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-009.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:12-009
Contact details of provider: Postal: 366 Galvez Street, Stanford, California 94305-6015
Phone: (650) 725-1874
Fax: (650) 723-8611
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon-Lane, 2013. "Does Expansionary Monetary Policy Cause Asset Price Booms; Some Historical and Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christopher Crowe & Ellen E. Meade, 2007. "The Evolution of Central Bank Governance around the World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 69-90, Fall.
  3. Lieven Baele & Geert Bekaert & Seonghoon Cho & Koen Inghelbrecht & Antonio Moreno, 2011. "Macroeconomic Regimes," NBER Working Papers 17090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Taylor, John B., 1980. "Output and price stability: An international comparison," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 109-132, May.
  5. John B. Taylor, 2011. "Legislating a Rule for Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 10-032, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  6. Cwik, Tobias & Mueller, Gernot & Schmidt, Sebastian & Wieland, Volker & Wolters, Maik H, 2012. "A New Comparative Approach to Macroeconomic Modeling and Policy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8814, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. Jarociński, Marek & Smets, Frank, 2008. "House Prices and the stance of Monetary Policy," Working Paper Series 0891, European Central Bank.
  9. George A. Kahn, 2010. "Taylor rule deviations and financial imbalances," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 63-99.
  10. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy become more Efficient? a Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 408-433, 04.
  11. Ahrend, Rudiger, 2008. "Monetary Ease: A Factor behind Financial Crises? Some Evidence from OECD Countries," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-44, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. John B. Taylor, 2012. "Monetary Policy Rules Work and Discretion Doesn’t: A Tale of Two Eras," Discussion Papers 11-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  13. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 94-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. repec:cto:journl:v:31:y:2011:i:3:p: is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Pier Francesco Asso & George A. Kahn & Robert Leeson, 2007. "The Taylor rule and the transformation of monetary policy," Research Working Paper RWP 07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:12-009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Shor)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.