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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
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2542
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  1. 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.
  2. Cukierman, Alex & Miller, Geoffrey P. & Neyapti, Bilin, 2002. "Central bank reform, liberalization and inflation in transition economies--an international perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 237-264, March.
  3. Jon Faust & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and credibility: monetary policy with unobservable goals," International Finance Discussion Papers 605, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Jonathan David Ostry & Anne Marie Gulde & Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1995. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," IMF Working Papers 95/121, International Monetary Fund.
  8. 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.).
  9. 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.
  10. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 211-21, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1996. "Why Does Inflation Differ Across Countries?," NBER Working Papers 5540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Romer, David, 1993. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 869-903, November.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 473-91, June.
  17. 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.
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