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The Walsh Contracts for Central Bankers Are Optimal After All!

Author

Listed:
  • Georgios E. Chortareas

    (University of Essex)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    (University of Connecticut and University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Abstract

Candel-Sanchez and Campoy-Minarro (2004) argue that the Walsh linear inflation contract does not prove optimal when the government concerns itself about the cost of the central bank contract. This result relies on the authors. assumption that the participation constraint does not represent an effective constraint on the central banker's decision. Instead, the government can "impose" or "force" the contract on the central banker, even though the contract violates the participation constraint. We argue that such a contract does not make sense. The government can impose it, but it does not affect the central banker's incentives. The policy outcomes do not match those of commitment. Then we show that the Walsh linear inflation contract does produce the optimal outcome, even when the government cares about the cost of the contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgios E. Chortareas & Stephen M. Miller, 2006. "The Walsh Contracts for Central Bankers Are Optimal After All!," Working papers 2006-14, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2006-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-286, March.
    3. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
    4. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    5. Francisco Candel-Sánchez & Juan Cristóbal Campoy-Miñarroy, 2004. "Is the Walsh Contract Really Optimal?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(1_2), pages 29-39, July.
    6. Chortareas, Georgios E & Miller, Stephen M, 2003. "Central Banker Contracts, Incomplete Information, and Monetary Policy Surprises: In Search of a Selfish Central Banker?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(3-4), pages 271-295, September.
    7. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-211, May.
    8. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
    9. Georgios E. Chortareas & Stephen M. Miller, 2003. "Monetary Policy Delegation, Contract Costs and Contract Targets," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 101-112, January.
    10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
    11. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
    12. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    central banks; contracts; Walsh;

    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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