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Optimal monetary policy committee size: theory and cross country evidence

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  • Erhart, Szilárd
  • Vasquez-Paz, Jose Luis

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical studies of different sciences suggest that an optimal committee consists of roughly 5-9 members, although it can swell mildly under specific circumstances. This paper develops a conceptual model in order to analyze the issue in case of monetary policy formulation. The optimal monetary policy committee (MPC) size varies according to the uncertainty of MPC members' information influenced by the size of the monetary zone and overall economic stability. Our conceptual model is backed up with econometric evidence using a survey of 85 countries. The MPC size of large monetary zones (EMU, USA, Japan) is close to the estimated optimal level, but there exist several smaller countries with too many or too few MPC members.

Suggested Citation

  • Erhart, Szilárd & Vasquez-Paz, Jose Luis, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: theory and cross country evidence," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 439, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwasw:439
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    1. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Lustenberger & Enzo Rossi, 2020. "Does Central Bank Transparency and Communication Affect Financial and Macroeconomic Forecasts?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(2), pages 153-201, March.
    2. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2011. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 78(2), pages 452-475, October.
    3. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
    4. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance, or Simple Majority?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 363-416.
    5. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2013. "Monetary policy decisions – comparing theory and “inside” information from MPC members," Working Paper 2013/03, Norges Bank.
    6. Szilard Erhart & Harmen Lehment & Jose Vasquez Paz, 2010. "Monetary policy committee size and inflation volatility," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-421, December.
    7. Alan S. Blinder, 2007. "On the Design of Monetary Policy Committees," Working Papers 1030, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    8. Roman Horvath & Marek Rusnak & Katerina Smidkova & Jan Zapal, 2014. "The dissent voting behaviour of central bankers: what do we really know?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 450-461, February.
    9. Alan S. Blinder, 2007. "On the Design of Monetary Policy Committees," Working Papers 1030, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    10. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
    11. repec:pri:cepsud:167blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "Making Monetary Policy by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 171-194, August.
    13. repec:pri:cepsud:153blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Jung, Alexander & Kiss, Gergely, 2012. "Preference heterogeneity in the CEE inflation-targeting countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 445-460.
    15. Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2020. "Appointed Learning for the Common Good: Optimal Committee Size and Efficient Rewards," CEPR Discussion Papers 15311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "Making Monetary Policy by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 171-194, August.
    17. Golan Benita & Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg & Amit Friedman, 2019. "The challenges of managing large FX reserves: the case of Israel," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Reserve management and FX intervention, volume 104, pages 151-162, Bank for International Settlements.
    18. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2015. "Monetary Policy Committees: Comparing Theory and "Inside" Information from MPC Members," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 47-89, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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