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Why Adopt Transparency? The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts

  • Petra M. Geraats

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Recently, several central banks have abandoned the usual secrecy in monetary policy and become very transparent. This paper provides an explanation for this puzzling fact, focusing on the disclosure of central bank forecasts. It shows that transparency reduces the inflationary bias and gives the central bank greater flexibility to respond to shocks in the economy. Furthermore, it makes it easier for a central bank to build reputation. To achieve these benefits of transparency it is generally necessary to publish the conditional central bank forecasts for both inflation and output.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0012/0012011.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0012011.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 09 Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0012011
Note: 34 pages, Acrobat .pdf
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. 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.).
  2. 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.
  3. Henrik Jensen, . "Optimal Degrees of Tranaparency in Monetary Policymaking," EPRU Working Paper Series 01-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 181-209, 06.
  5. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1999. "The equilibrium degree of transparency and control in monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 651, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  7. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  8. Cukierman, A., 2000. "Accountability, Credibility, Transparency and Stabilization Policy in the Eurosystem," Papers 2000-4, Tel Aviv.
  9. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Seonghwan Oh, 1990. "When and How Much to Talk: Credibility and Flexibility in Monetary Policy With Private Information," UCLA Economics Working Papers 593, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. D. Backus & J. Driffil, 1998. "Inflation and Reputation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625, David K. Levine.
  11. Tarkka, Juha & Mayes, David, 1999. "The Value of Publishing Official Central Bank Forecasts," Research Discussion Papers 22/1999, Bank of Finland.
  12. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1996. "Federal Reserve Private Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 5692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 1794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
  15. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  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. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  18. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
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