Long term appointment of central bankers: Costs and benefits

Why do independent central bank boards have a reputation for more moderate policy than do elected governments, even if the board's members have been appointed by the current or former government? This paper gives an explanation for the case of a political world with ‘zeitgeist shocks’ on the electorate's preferences. If the median position of preferences inside the board determines the monetary policy, a trade-off concerning member term length arises: a longer term entails more moderation, while enhancing the likelihood of detachment from contact to the electorate's current preferences.

15. November 2000

Authors Axel Lindner

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