Publicity of Debate and the Incentive to Dissent: Evidence from the US Federal Reserve

23 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2008

See all articles by Ellen E. Meade

Ellen E. Meade

Federal Reserve Board

David Stasavage

New York University (NYU)


Transparency in committee decision making may have clear benefits by making members more accountable to outside observers. We consider one potential cost: the possibility that publishing records of deliberations will make members more reluctant to offer dissenting opinions. We construct a model that compares incentives for members with career concerns to voice dissent when deliberations occur in public or in private. We test the model using an original dataset based on deliberations of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee, asking whether the FOMC's 1993 decision to begin releasing transcripts of its meetings has altered incentives for dissent. We find evidence that this is indeed the case.

Suggested Citation

Meade, Ellen E. and Stasavage, David, Publicity of Debate and the Incentive to Dissent: Evidence from the US Federal Reserve. The Economic Journal, Vol. 118, Issue 528, pp. 695-717, April 2008. Available at SSRN: or

Ellen E. Meade (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Board ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

David Stasavage

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

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