A Non-Transparent European Central Bank? Who is to Blame?

38 Pages Posted: 28 May 2008

See all articles by Jakob de Haan

Jakob de Haan

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business; De Nederlandsche Bank; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Fabian Amtenbrink

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2003

Abstract

Transparency of central banks - defined here as the degree of genuine understanding of the monetary policy process and policy decisions by the public - has become a major issue. The authors use the term disclosure whenever we refer to the activities of a central bank to enhance the publics understanding of its policies. The European Central Bank (ECB) ranks high on our proposed central bank disclosure indicator.

Nevertheless, there is quite some evidence suggesting that financial markets do not consider the ECB to be very transparent. The paper zooms in on two issues that may be relevant to understand this paradox: the monetary policy strategy of the ECB and the role of newspapers as intermediary between the central bank and the public. The authors conclude that the two-pillar strategy hinders transparency. Focusing on articles in the Financial Times and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the authors also find that newspaper reports on ECB policy decisions are sometimes biased.

Keywords: transparency, monetary policy, ECB, accountability, central bank, legal basis

JEL Classification: E58, K10

Suggested Citation

de Haan, Jakob and de Haan, Jakob and Amtenbrink, Fabian, A Non-Transparent European Central Bank? Who is to Blame? (April 1, 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138224 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1138224

Jakob De Haan

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business ( email )

PO Box 800
Groningen, 9700 AV
Netherlands
+31 0 50 3633706 (Fax)

De Nederlandsche Bank ( email )

P.O. Box 98
Amsterdam, 1000 AB
Netherlands

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Fabian Amtenbrink (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31104081573 (Phone)

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