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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.
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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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    2. Masciandaro, Donato, 2022. "Independence, conservatism, and beyond: Monetary policy, central bank governance and central banker preferences (1981–2021)," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Wieland, Volker, 2020. "The German Federal Constitutional Court ruling and the European Central Bank's strategy," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 20/05, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    4. Barbara Pistoresi & Maddalena Cavicchioli & Giulio Brevini, 2017. "Central Bank Independence, financial instability and politics: new evidence for OECD and non-OECD countries," Department of Economics 0112, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
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    8. Alin Marius Andries & Anca Maria Podpiera & Nicu Sprincean, 2022. "Central Bank Independence and Systemic Risk," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 18(1), pages 81-130, March.
    9. Ad van Riet, 2018. "The European Central Bank as the Only Game in Town: How Could Fiscal Policy Makers Play Along?," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 51(1), pages 93-111.
    10. Jakub Rybacki, 2020. "Are Central Banks’ Research Teams Fragile Because of Groupthink in the Area of Monetary Policy? – Evidence on Inflation Targeting," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 4, pages 81-103.
    11. Donato Masciandaro, 2021. "Central Bank Governance in Monetary Policy Economics (1981-2020)," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 21153, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    12. C Katseli & A Theofilakou & K Zekente, 2020. "Central Bank Independence and Inflation Preferences: New Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Inflation," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 25(1), pages 1-29, March.
    13. Fraccaroli, Nicolò & Giovannini, Alessandro & Jamet, Jean-Francois & Persson, Eric, 2022. "Ideology and monetary policy: the role of political parties’ stances in the ECB’s parliamentary hearings," Working Paper Series 2655, European Central Bank.
    14. D. Masciandaro, 2019. "What Bird Is That? Central Banking And Monetary Policy In The Last Forty Years," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 19127, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    15. Jeroen Klomp & John Sseruyange, 2021. "Earthquakes and Economic Outcomes: Does Central Bank Independence Matter?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 335-359, April.
    16. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2019. "Macroeconomic Institutions: Lessons from World Experience for MENA Countries," Working Papers 1311, Economic Research Forum, revised 21 Aug 2019.
    17. Bihari, Péter, 2017. "A jegybanki függetlenség és elszámoltathatóság a válság előtt és után [Independence and accountability of central banks before and after the global financial crisis]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 573-593.
    18. Itai Agur & Carola Binder & Cristina Bodea & Claudio Borio & Italo Colantone & Ana Carolina Garriga & Federico Favaretto & Stefan Gerlach & Ernest Gnan & Ryszard Kokoszczynski & Masaaki Higashijima & , 2020. "Populism, Economic Policies and Central Banking," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 2020/1 edited by Ernest Gnan and Donato Masciandaro, December.
    19. Dall’Orto Mas, Rodolfo & Vonessen, Benjamin & Fehlker, Christian & Arnold, Katrin, 2020. "The case for central bank independence: a review of key issues in the international debate," Occasional Paper Series 248, European Central Bank.
    20. Kesavarajah Mayandy, 2019. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence From Sri Lanka," Bulletin of Monetary Economics and Banking, Bank Indonesia, vol. 22(4), pages 485-506.
    21. Pistoresi B. & Cavicchioli M. & Brevini G., 2017. "Central Bank Independence, Financial Instability and Politics: New Evidence for OECD and Non-OECD Countries," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(7), pages 179-188, July.
    22. Moiseev, S., 2018. "The Independence of Central Bank: Concept, Methods and Impact of Global Financial Crisis," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 110-136.
    23. Barbara Pistoresi & Maddalena Cavicchioli & Giulio Brevini, 2017. "Central Bank Independence, financial instability and politics: new evidence for OECD and non-OECD countries," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 129, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    24. Tal Sadeh & Yehuda Porath, 2020. "Autonomous agencies and relational contracts in government bond issues," Regulation & Governance, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 14(4), pages 741-763, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank independence; fiscal dominance; determinantsof CBI;
    All these keywords.

    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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