nr 031 - The Impact of Central Bank Transparency on Inflation Expectations

DNB Working Papers
Date 31 March 2005
In contrast to previous empirical attempts to examine the effect of increasing central bank transparency on macroeconomic magnitudes, we investigate how the link between inflation and inflation expectations alters with increasing transparency. Our motivation stems from the belief that changes in the institutional features or operations of the Central Bank affect, first and foremost, the way that private agents form their expectations about the future behaviour of the Central Bank, and only through them, inflation. We apply the framework used by Levin et al (2004) who differentiate between inflation targeters and countries that do not have explicit quantitative objectives. They discover that inflation targeters benefit from a weaker link between inflation and expectations, and the more so for longer horizons. We, in turn, examine whether this observation still holds as central banks become more transparent. Our attempt is facilitated by the recent development of quantitative measures for transparency, used in the main text. We find that our results provide some evidence to substantiate the beneficial impact of transparency, on helping fix private sector expectations. JEL-Codes: E31, E52, E58 Keywords: Central Bank Transparency, Inflation Expectations, Monetary Policy