Central Bank Communication with Non-Experts: A Road to Nowhere?

63 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2021

See all articles by Michael Ehrmann

Michael Ehrmann

European Central Bank (ECB); Bank of Canada

Alena Wabitsch

University of Oxford; affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1, 2021

Abstract

Central banks have intensified their communication with non-experts – an endeavour which some have argued is bound to fail. This paper studies English and German Twitter traffic about the ECB to understand whether its communication is received by non-experts and how it affects their views. It shows that Twitter traffic is responsive to ECB communication, also for non-experts. For several ECB communication events, Twitter constitutes primarily a channel to relay information: tweets become more factual and the views expressed more moderate and homogeneous. Other communication events, such as former President Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” statement, trigger persistent traffic and a divergence in views. Also, ECB-related tweets are more likely to get retweeted or liked if they express stronger or more subjective views. Thus, Twitter also serves as a platform for controversial discussions. The findings suggest that central banks manage to reach non-experts, i.e. their communication is not a road to nowhere.

Keywords: central bank communication, monetary policy, non-experts, social media

JEL Classification: E52, E58

Suggested Citation

Ehrmann, Michael and Wabitsch, Alena and Wabitsch, Alena, Central Bank Communication with Non-Experts: A Road to Nowhere? (October 1, 2021). ECB Working Paper No. 2021/2594, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3936235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3936235

Michael Ehrmann (Contact Author)

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

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Bank of Canada ( email )

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Alena Wabitsch

University of Oxford ( email )

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United Kingdom

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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