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Quest for the best: How to measure central bank independence and show its relation with inflation?


  • Aleksandra Maslowska

    () (Department of Economics, University of Turku)


We use several numerical tests in order to receive answers to our three questions. First, this paper aims to indicate, which measure of central bank independence explains economic changes the most accurately, and hence gives the most exact guidance onto institutional design of monetary authorities. Second, our aim is to prove that differences in legal proxies matter as much as institutional development of countries. Finally, we show that results are vulnerable to data modification. This experiment is performed by an empirical verification of the quality of CBI indices, comparing several widely used measures for around 100 countries, using a panel data approach. After a brief description of imprecision in CBI measures methodology and their definitions, a comparison using OLS method is made. Additional tests of TSLS, PCA and stepwise selection are used, as well. In the final conclusion we are able to point the ``winner'' of this experiment but also we indicate that a minor modification of data can change the result.

Suggested Citation

  • Aleksandra Maslowska, 2008. "Quest for the best: How to measure central bank independence and show its relation with inflation?," Discussion Papers 37, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp37

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Banaian, King & Burdekin, Richard C K & Willett, Thomas D, 1998. "Reconsidering the Principal Components of Central Bank Independence: The More the Merrier?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 1-12, October.
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    3. de Haan, Jakob & Hillman, Arye L. & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2004. "Economic research on terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 291-292, June.
    4. Forder, J., 2000. "Traps in the Measurement of Independence and Accountability of Central Banks," Economics Series Working Papers 9923, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Mark M. Spiegel, 1998. "Central bank independence and inflation expectations: evidence from British index-linked gilts," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-14.
    6. 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 353-398, September.
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    9. Marco Arnone & Bernard J Laurens & Jean-François Segalotto & Martin Sommer, 2009. "Central Bank Autonomy: Lessons from Global Trends," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(2), pages 263-296, June.
    10. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    11. Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Haan, Jakob de, 2001. "Inflation in developing countries: does Central Bank independence matter?," CCSO Working Papers 200101, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    12. Loungani, Prakash & Sheets, Nathan, 1997. "Central Bank Independence, Inflation, and Growth in Transition Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 381-399, August.
    13. Krause, Stefan & Méndez, Fabio, 2008. "Institutions, arrangements and preferences for inflation stability: Evidence and lessons from a panel data analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 282-307, March.
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    15. Andreas Freytag & Donato Masciandaro, 2005. "Financial Supervision Fragmentation and Central Bank Independence: The Two Sides of the Same Coin?," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft (Expired!) 14/2005, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    16. Eijffinger, S.C.W., 1993. "Central bank independence in twelve industrial countries," Other publications TiSEM 0401b17a-e2c7-4179-ace9-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    17. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    18. Wojciech S. Maliszewski, 2000. "Central Bank Independence in Transition Economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(3), pages 749-789, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Donato Masciandaro & Paola Profeta & Davide Romelli, 2016. "Gender and Monetary Policymaking: Trends and Drivers," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1512, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    2. Lucia Dalla Pellegrina & Donato Masciandaro & Rosaria Vega Pansini, 2011. "New Advantages of Tying One’s Hands: Banking Supervision, Monetary Policy and Central Bank Independence," Chapters,in: Handbook of Central Banking, Financial Regulation and Supervision, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Dalla Pellegrina, L. & Masciandaro, D. & Pansini, R.V., 2013. "The central banker as prudential supervisor: Does independence matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 415-427.
    4. Dumitriu, Ramona & Stefanescu, Răzvan, 2013. "Decizii strategice ale politicii monetare
      [Strategic decisions of the Monetary Policy]
      ," MPRA Paper 51242, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Nov 2013.

    More about this item


    institution; central bank independence; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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