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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://128.118.178.162/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://128.118.178.162

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  1. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Oh, Seonghwan, 1995. "When and how much to talk credibility and flexibility in monetary policy with private information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 341-357, April.
  2. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  3. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 181-209, 06.
  4. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1999. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Papers 669, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  5. David Backus & John Driffill, 1984. "Inflation and Reputation," Working Papers 560, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Faust, John, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Seminar Papers 636, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Jensen, Henrik, 2001. "Optimal degrees of transparency in monetary policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  9. Cukierman, A., 2000. "Accountability, Credibility, Transparency and Stabilization Policy in the Eurosystem," Papers 2000-4, Tel Aviv.
  10. Hahn, Volker & Gersbach, Hans, 2001. "Should the Individual Voting Records of Central Bankers be Published?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  11. 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.
  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. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  16. Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  17. 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.
  18. Tarkka, Juha & Mayes, David, 1999. "The Value of Publishing Official Central Bank Forecasts," Research Discussion Papers 22/1999, Bank of Finland.
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