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The Politics of Central Bank Independence

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  • de Haan, J.
  • Eijffinger, Sylvester

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper reviews recent research on the political economy of monetary policy-making, both by economists and political scientists. The traditional argument for central bank independence (CBI) is based on the desire to counter inflationary biases. However, studies in political science on the determinants of central bank independence suggest that governments may choose to delegate monetary policy in order to detach it from political debates and power struggles. This argument would be especially valid in countries with coalition governments, federal structures and strongly polarized political systems. The recent financial crisis has changed the role of central banks as evidenced by the large set of new unconventional monetary and macro-prudential policy measures. But financial stability and unconventional monetary policies have much stronger distributional consequences than conventional monetary policies and this has potential implications for the central bank’s independence. It may also have changed the regime from monetary dominance to fiscal dominance. However, our results do not suggest that CBI has been reduced since the Great Financial Crisis. This holds both for legal measures of CBI and the turnover rate of central bank governors.

Suggested Citation

  • de Haan, J. & Eijffinger, Sylvester, 2016. "The Politics of Central Bank Independence," Discussion Paper 2016-047, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:54f2c3e3-46f2-4763-b1ac-b865f90cb42b
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    1. repec:gam:jijfss:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:12-:d:95264 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:ksa:szemle:1701 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. van Riet, Ad, 2017. "The ECB's fight against low inflation : On the effects of ultra-low interest rates," Other publications TiSEM ec7f8a3b-a32e-42e4-8d01-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank independence; fiscal dominance; determinantsof CBI;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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