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Determinants of Trust in the European Central Bank

Author

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  • Justina Fischer
  • Volker Hahn

Abstract

In this paper we study the determinants of citizens� trust in the European Central Bank during the start-up phase from 1999-2004. Using a country panel based on the Eurobarometer survey, we find that higher inflation rates reduce trust. Thus people appear to evaluate the performance of the ECB on the basis of its success in achieving its primary objective, namely price stability. However, national income also has a strong impact, which poses a dilemma to the ECB, as it cannot increase economic growth in the long run. Unemployment does not have a significant impact on trust in the ECB, while unemployment spending exerts a trust-building impact. Possibly, automatic stabilizers serve as substitutes for ECB interventions, which would lower people�s trust. Interestingly, active labor market policies, which can be interpreted as proxies for the public�s perception of the urgency of the problem of high unemployment, tend to decrease trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Justina Fischer & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Determinants of Trust in the European Central Bank," TWI Research Paper Series 26, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    2. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    3. Benno Torgler, 2006. "Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Herrendorf, Berthold & Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Rogoff's "Conservative" Central Banker Restored," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 476-495, November.
    5. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    6. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, February.
    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 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hayo, Bernd & Neuenkirch, Edith, 2014. "The German public and its trust in the ECB: The role of knowledge and information search," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 286-303.
    2. Bursian, Dirk & Fürth, Sven, 2013. "Trust me! I am a European Central Banker," SAFE Working Paper Series 31, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    3. Etienne Farvaque & Muhammad Azmat Hayat & Alexander Mihailov, 2017. "Who Supports the ECB? Evidence from Eurobarometer Survey Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 654-677, April.
    4. van der Cruijsen, Carin A.B. & Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W., 2010. "From actual to perceived transparency: The case of the European Central Bank," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 388-399, June.
    5. Begović, Selena & Adnett, Nick & Pugh, Geoff, 2016. "An investigation into the credibility of currency board arrangements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 787-799.
    6. Ehrmann, Michael & Soudan, Michel & Stracca, Livio, 2012. "Explaining EU Citizens' Trust in the ECB in Normal and Crisis Times," Economics Series 289, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    7. Wälti, Sébastien, 2012. "Trust no more? The impact of the crisis on citizens’ trust in central banks," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 593-605.
    8. Dimitris Christelis & Dimitris Georgarakos & Tullio Jappelli & Maarten van Rooij, 2016. "Trust in the Central Bank and Inflation Expectations," CSEF Working Papers 458, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    9. repec:taf:applec:v:48:y:2016:i:57:p:5625-5638 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zohal Hessami, 2011. "What Determines Trust in International Organizations?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-44, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    11. Roman Horvath & Dominika Katuscakova, 2016. "Transparency and trust: the case of the European Central Bank," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(57), pages 5625-5638, December.
    12. Markus Knell & Helmut Stix, 2009. "Trust in Banks? Evidence from normal times and from times of crises," Working Papers 158, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    13. Hessami, Zohal, 2011. "What determines trust in international organizations? An empirical analysis for the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO," MPRA Paper 34550, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ECB; trust; European Union; Eurobarometer; panel data; behavioral economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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