The Politics of Central Bank Independence

28 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2016

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)

Sylvester C. W. Eijffinger

Tilburg University (CentER) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 22, 2016

Abstract

This paper reviews recent research on the political economy of monetary policy-making, both by economists and political scientists. The traditional argument for central bank independence (CBI) is based on the desire to counter inflationary biases. However, studies in political science on the determinants of central bank independence suggest that governments may choose to delegate monetary policy in order to detach it from political debates and power struggles. This argument would be especially valid in countries with coalition governments, federal structures and strongly polarized political systems. The recent financial crisis has changed the role of central banks as evidenced by the large set of new unconventional monetary and macro-prudential policy measures. But financial stability and unconventional monetary policies have much stronger distributional consequences than conventional monetary policies and this has potential implications for the central bank’s independence. It may also have changed the regime from monetary dominance to fiscal dominance. However, our results do not suggest that CBI has been reduced since the Great Financial Crisis. This holds both for legal measures of CBI and the turnover rate of central bank governors.

Keywords: central bank independence, fiscal dominance, determinants of CBI

JEL Classification: E42, E52, E58

Suggested Citation

de Haan, Jakob and Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W., The Politics of Central Bank Independence (December 22, 2016). De Nederlandsche Bank Working Paper No. 539. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2888836 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2888836

Jakob de Haan (Contact Author)

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

Sylvester C. W. Eijffinger

Tilburg University (CentER) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2411 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
177
rank
122,221
Abstract Views
700
PlumX Metrics