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Central Bank accountability and transparency: theory and some evidence

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W. & Hoeberichts, Marco, 2000. "Central Bank accountability and transparency: theory and some evidence," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,06, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:4142
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-286, March.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Jakob de Haan & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger, 2000. "The Democratic Accountability of the European Central Bank: A Comment on Two Fairy-tales," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 393-407, September.
    6. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
    7. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 181-209, June.
    8. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    9. Geraats, Petra M., 2000. "Why Adopt Transparency? The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0hw7h7cp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy; central banks; transparency; accountability;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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