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Central Bank accountability and transparency: theory and some evidence

  • Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W.
  • Hoeberichts, Marco

The first part of this paper outlines the concept of democratic accountability of central banks, and compares the legal accountability of the ECB with some other central banks (Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System). In the second part, we present a theory of central bank accountability. Two aspects of accountability are considered: transparency of actual monetary policy and the question of who bears final responsibility for monetary policy. The paper shows that accountability through transparency leads to a lower expected rate of inflation and less stabilization of supply shocks. Accountability through shifting final responsibility in the direction of the government leads to higher inflationary expectations and more stabilization of supply shocks.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/19534/1/200006dkp.pdf
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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2000,06.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:4142
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  1. Geraats, Petra M., 2001. "Why adopt transparency? The publication of central bank forecasts," Working Paper Series 0041, European Central Bank.
  2. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1998. "A Theory of Central Bank Accountability," Discussion Paper 1998-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. L. Bini-Smaghi, 1998. "The democratic accountability of the European Central Bank," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 51(205), pages 119-143.
  4. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
  5. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 181-209, 06.
  6. Eijffinger, S-C-W & de Haan, J, 1996. "The Political Economy of Central-Bank Independence," Princeton Studies in International Economics 19, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  7. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  8. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  9. L. Bini-Smaghi, 1998. "The democratic accountability of the European Central Bank," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 51(205), pages 119-143.
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