Enhancing Central Bank Communications with Behavioural Insights

57 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2018

See all articles by David Bholat

David Bholat

Bank of England

Nida Broughton

Independent

Alice Parker

Bank of England

Janna Ter Meer

Independent

Eryk Walczak

Bank of England

Date Written: August 15, 2018

Abstract

In this joint Bank of England and Behavioural Insights Team study, we test the effectiveness of different approaches to central bank communications. Using an online experiment with a representative sample of the UK population, we measure how changes to the Bank of England’s summaries of the Inflation Report impact comprehension and trust in its policy messages. We find that the recently introduced Visual Summary of the Inflation Report improves comprehension of its main messages in a statistically significant way compared to the traditional executive summary. We also find that public comprehension and trust can be further improved by making the Visual Summary more relatable to people’s lives. Our findings thus shed light on how central banks can improve communication with the public at a time when trust in public institutions has fallen, while the responsibilities delegated to central banks have increased.

Keywords: Central bank communications, central bank legitimacy, experimental economics, behavioural economics, Bank of England Vision 2020.

JEL Classification: A12, A13, A29, C21, C83, C90, C91, C93, D83, D91, E52, E58, E70, G41, M38

Suggested Citation

Bholat, David and Broughton, Nida and Parker, Alice and Ter Meer, Janna and Walczak, Eryk, Enhancing Central Bank Communications with Behavioural Insights (August 15, 2018). Bank of England Working Paper No. 750. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3233695 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3233695

David Bholat (Contact Author)

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Nida Broughton

Independent

No Address Available

Alice Parker

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Janna Ter Meer

Independent

No Address Available

Eryk Walczak

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

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