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Effective monetary policy conservatism: A comparison of 11 OECD countries

  • Berlemann, Michael
  • Hilscher, Kai

Modern monetary economists argue that institutional aspects such as central bank independence and central bank conservatism play an important role for the performance of an economy. In order to be able to compare the effects of different institutions it is necessary to measure both central bank independence and conservatism. In this paper we propose a new methodology of uncovering the degree of effective monetary policy conservatism from observed central bank behavior. Employing a variant of the Barro-Gordon-model we derive an optimal prime rate reaction function and show that more effectively conservative monetary policy tends to react less active to shocks to the real economy. In order to illustrate the proposed methodology we then estimate a common prime rate reaction function for a sample of 11 central banks in a panel setting and allow the reaction to real disturbances to differ between countries.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) in its series HWWI Research Papers with number 2-21.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:2-21
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  1. S. Eijffinger & M. Van Keulen, 1995. "Central bank independence in another eleven countries," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(192), pages 39-81.
  2. Andreas Billmeier, 2004. "Ghostbusting; Which Output Gap Measure Really Matters?," IMF Working Papers 04/146, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Forder, James, 1998. "Central Bank Independence--Conceptual Clarifications and Interim Assessment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 307-34, July.
  4. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M., 1996. "The Trade Off Between Central Bank Independence and Conservativeness," Discussion Paper 1996-44, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Eduard Hochreiter & Tadeusz Kowalski, 2000. "Central Banks in European Emerging Market Economies in the 1990s," Working Papers 40, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  6. Forder, James, 1996. "On the Assessment and Implementation of 'Institutional' Remedies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 39-51, January.
  7. Michael Berlemann, 2005. "Time inconsistency of monetary policy: Empirical evidence from polls," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 1-15, July.
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  9. Cukierman, Alex & Lippi, Francesco, 1999. "Central bank independence, centralization of wage bargaining, inflation and unemployment:: Theory and some evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1395-1434, June.
  10. Cukierman, Alex & Miller, Geoffrey P. & Neyapti, Bilin, 2002. "Central bank reform, liberalization and inflation in transition economies--an international perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 237-264, March.
  11. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2001. "Inflation in Developing Countries: Does Central Bank Independence Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 511, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J., 2002. "Does the Barro-Gordon Model Explain the Behavior of US Inflation? a Reexamination of the Empirical Evidence," Cahiers de recherche 2002-07, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  13. J. De Haan & F. Amtenbrink & S.C.W. Eijffinger, 1999. "Accountability of central banks: aspects and quantification," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 52(209), pages 169-193.
  14. Lippi, F., 1999. "Median Voter Preferences, Central Bank Independence and Conservatis," Papers 351, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  15. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & van Rooij, M. & Schaling, E., 1994. "Central bank independence : A paneldata approach," Discussion Paper 1994-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. David Cobham & Christopher Adam, 2005. "Real-time output gaps in the estimation of Taylor rules: A red herring?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 42, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  17. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Schaling, E., 1992. "Central bank independence : Criteria and indices," Research Memorandum FEW 548, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  18. Prakash Loungani & Nathan Sheets, 1995. "Central bank independence, inflation and growth in transition economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 519, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. John S. Lapp & Douglas K. Pearce & Surachit Laksanasut, 2003. "The Predictability of FOMC Decisions: Evidence from the Volcker and Greenspan Chairmanships," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 312-327, October.
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  21. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2006. "Does ECB Communication Help in Predicting its Interest Rate Decisions?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1804, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Adam S. Posen, 1995. "Declarations Are Not Enough: Financial Sector Sources of Central Bank Independence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 253-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Berlemann, Michael & Nenovsky, Nikolay, 2003. "Lending of first versus lending of last resort: The Bulgarian financial crisis of 1996/1997," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 11/03, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  24. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
  25. Helge Berger & Ulrich Woitek, 2005. "Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 745-766, 07.
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