IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Reflections on the Current Fashion For Central Bank Independence

  • Jörg Bibow

    (Univ of Hamburg & Levy Econ Inst)

Registered author(s):

    This paper challenges the time-inconsistency case for central bank independence. It argues that the time-inconsistency literature not only seriously confuses the substance of the rules versus discretion debate, but also posits an implausible view of monetary policy. Most worrisome, the inflationary bias featured prominently in the time-inconsistency literature has encouraged the development of a dangerously one-sided approach to central bank independence that entirely ignores the potential risks involved in maximizing central bankers' latitude for discretion. The analysis shows that a more balanced and symmetric approach to central bank independence is urgently warranted. The views of Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman are shown to shed some illuminating and disconcerting light on a fashionable free-lunch promise that is based on rather shallow theoretical foundations.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0108/0108004.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0108004.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Aug 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0108004
    Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 38; figures: included
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    2. Willem H. Buiter, 1981. "The Superiority of Contingent Rules over Fixed Rules in Models with Rational Expectations," NBER Technical Working Papers 0009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jörg Bibow, 2001. "Easy Money through the Back Door: The Markets vs. the ECB," Macroeconomics 0103004, EconWPA.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
    5. Gartner, Manfred, 1999. "The election cycle in the inflation bias: evidence from the G-7 countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 705-725, November.
    6. 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.
    7. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
    8. David Backus & John Driffill, 1984. "Inflation and Reputation," Working Papers 560, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    9. Clark, Peter B. & Goodhart, Charles A. E. & Huang, Haizhou, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy rules in a rational expectations model of the Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 497-520, April.
    10. Alesina, Alberto F & Roubini, Nouriel, 1990. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Jorg Bibow, 2001. "Easy Money through the Back Door: The Markets vs. the ECB," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_323, Levy Economics Institute.
    12. Bean, Charles, 1998. "The New UK Monetary Arrangements: A View from the Literature," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1795-1809, November.
    13. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    14. Fischer, Stanley, 1990. "Rules versus discretion in monetary policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 1155-1184 Elsevier.
    15. Forder, James, 1996. "On the Assessment and Implementation of 'Institutional' Remedies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 39-51, January.
    16. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    17. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1997. "Central bank independence and inflation targeting: monetary policy paradigms for the next millenium?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 19-36.
    18. Chant, John F & Acheson, Keith, 1973. "Mythology and Central Banking," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 362-79.
    19. 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.
    20. Fry, Maxwell J, 1998. "Assessing Central Bank Independence in Developing Countries: Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 512-29, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0108004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.