هجوم و حمایت از بانک های مرکزی : آلمان و بانک مرکزی اروپا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23121||2004||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7179 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Journal of Political Economy, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2004, Pages 923–939
In this paper, we analyse the influences leading to external pressure on or public support for German and European monetary policy. Based upon the findings for the Deutsche Bundesbank, lessons are drawn for the European Central Bank (ECB). We show that external pressure on the ECB stems mainly from politicians or from international organisations (such as the IMF). In contrast with evidence for the Bundesbank, interest groups (such as commercial banks) hardly attempt to influence European monetary policy. German data show that factors leading to external pressure on the central bank are rising unemployment and the threat that governments will lose their majority in the next election. Evidence for the latter is, however, weak, and we show that in any case this source of pressure is likely to be of minor importance for the ECB.
The relationship between central banks and governments is notoriously difficult. Although central banks increasingly are made independent, governments in many countries attempt to influence monetary policy decisions. For instance, the former German minister of Finance, Oskar Lafontaine, called for lower European interest rates in 1998 and 1999. Although there is a vast literature investigating the impact of external (political) pressure on monetary policy,2 little is known about its sources and causes. Following the Collins English Dictionary, bashing refers to strong, public and often unfair criticism, showing disapproval. In this paper, pressure on central banks will be called central bank bashing. The question we are most interested in is: when, why and by whom are central banks bashed—and who supports them? Intuitively, if inflation or unemployment is high, politicians might bash a central bank. Still, for most countries a clear econometric relationship between external pressure and monetary policy does not show up. One reason for this could be that measuring pressure is complex, and simple proxies for pressure (e.g. elections) do not capture the true relationship between the central bank and the outside world. In this paper we use the methodology of Havrilesky (1993) to study external influence on European monetary policy. Havrilesky examined newspaper evidence to construct a conflict indicator for the US; we use international newspapers to construct indicators for external pressure and for public support for the European Central Bank (ECB). Using these indicators, we examine why, by whom and when external pressure on and public support for European monetary policy arises. The paper is organised as follows. In Section 2, we explain the two main factors determining monetary policy. In Section 3, we present the Havrilesky-methodology. In Section 4, we check which groups have exerted pressure or offered public support, focusing on the ECB and the Bundesbank. Moreover, we assess the extent to which pressure and support can be related to national economic circumstances. Then, we check in Section 5 the extent to which we can relate external pressure to other economic or political variables. Section 6 summarises our main findings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Much literature is devoted to the possibility that central banks might give in to external pressure, but apart from a number of hypotheses, the source of external pressure has remained unclear. In this paper, we have examined political pressure on two central banks: a national one, the Bundesbank and the supra-national European Central Bank. Using newspaper evidence we were able to show that interest groups are more inclined to influence the national Bundesbank than the supra-national ECB. Given the limited impact of national interest groups within Europe, this finding does not come as a surprise. This also explains why the overall degree of pressure on the ECB was relatively low, compared to the Bundesbank. Based on this evidence, we can say that at least so far we find little evidence for the hypothesis by Piga (2001). For some countries, we also estimated Taylor-rules and analysed the extent to which deviations from an optimal monetary policy, tailored to the specific needs of a country, leads to pressure from that country. Here, the conclusions are relatively simple: external pressure on the ECB need not come from countries that experience a deviation from the Taylor rule. Lastly, we have used Bundesbank data to relate external pressure to economic and political variables. This analysis has shown that pressure on a national central bank is likely to mount if unemployment is rising. Some weak evidence also indicates that the government's performance in opinion polls might play a role. This last factor, which to a large extent has dominated the literature on political business cycles so far, has lost most of this threat for the supra-national ECB: in our view, it is highly unlikely that the ECB will give in to pressure stemming from a particular country, simply because its degree of statutory independence is unprecedented—and no single member country has the means to force the ECB to adopt a certain policy stance, as this was the case prior to EMU. In Section 1, we asked when, why and by whom central banks are bashed. Based on our findings, we can answer this questions as follows: national central banks are likely to be bashed not only by politicians and international organisations, but also by (national) interest groups. The supra-national ECB, however, does not need to fear the latter. Econometrically, Bundesbank bashing occurred when unemployment was rising or when a government risked losing upcoming elections. To what extent these factors also apply for the ECB remains to be seen.