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The Politics of Central Bank Independence

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  • de Haan, J.
  • Eijffinger, Sylvester

    (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)

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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  • de Haan, J. & Eijffinger, Sylvester, 2016. "The Politics of Central Bank Independence," Other publications TiSEM 34d07610-3844-4cf9-baa5-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiutis:34d07610-3844-4cf9-baa5-9caee7c67bf6
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    2. 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.
    3. Ad Van Riet, 2017. "The ECB’s Fight against Low Inflation: On the Effects of Ultra-Low Interest Rates," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-27, April.
    4. 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, August.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2019. "Macroeconomic Institutions: Lessons from World Experience for MENA Countries," Working Papers 1311, Economic Research Forum, revised 21 Aug 2019.
    9. 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.

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    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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