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Checks and balances, private information, and the credibility of monetary commitments

  • Keefer, Philip
  • Stasavage, David

The authors develop and test several new hypotheses about the anti-inflationary effect of central bank independence and exchange rate pegs in the context of different institutions and different degrees of citizen information about government policies. Theory provides strong reason to believe that while central bank independence will prove more effective as a commitment mechanism in countries where multiple players in government have veto power (checks and balances), the number of veto players will have no effect on the credibility of exchange rate pegs. Conversely, the authors argue that central bank independence does not solve the problems of commitment that arise when citizens are imperfectly informed about the contribution of government policy to inflation. Exchange rate pegs, however, mitigate these problems. The authors present extensive evidence from cross-country tests using newly developed data thatprovide strong support for their propositions.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2542.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 2001
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2542
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  1. David Romer, 1993. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 869-903.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cukierman, Alex & Miller, Geoffrey & Neyapti, Bilin, 2001. "Central Bank Reform, Liberalization and Inflation in Transition Economies - An International Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," CEPR Discussion Papers 1852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Jonathan D. Ostry & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1997. "Why Does Inflation Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 335-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1980. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Working Papers 378, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  11. Weingast, Barry R & Moran, Mark J, 1983. "Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 765-800, October.
  12. Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Canavan, Chris & Tommasi, Mariano, 1997. "On the credibility of alternative exchange rate regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 101-122, October.
  14. Herrendorf, Berthold, 1999. "Transparency, reputation, and credibility under floating and pegged exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 31-50, October.
  15. 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 353-98, September.
  16. David Backus & John Driffill, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 211-221.
  17. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.
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