Time-inconsistency and expansionary business cycle theories: What does matter for the central bank independence–inflation relationship?

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Economic Modelling, ISSN: 0264-9993, Vol: 67, Page: 215-227

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Zied Ftiti; Abdelkader Aguir; Mounir Smida
Elsevier BV
Economics, Econometrics and Finance
article description
Since the seminal paper of Kydland and Prescott (1977), a central bank’s independence (CBI) has been considered an important institutional condition for achieving lower inflation. Recently, however, this long-held belief has been challenged. This paper investigates the relationship between CBI and inflation for a large sample (91 countries) covering the period from 1990 to 2014. We follow the previous literature by considering differences across national monetary regimes in explaining this relationship. Our approach also traces the sources of the inflationary phenomenon. Using panel data and the turnover indicator as a proxy for CBI, we offer two main findings. First, we identify the role of exchange rate regimes in the dynamic between inflation and CBI. Second, our results show that only intermediate and flexible exchange rate regimes are appropriate in this relationship. This finding is explained by the level of CBI, which is very low for countries with a fixed exchange rate policy and low income levels. For policymakers, our results highlight the importance of the choice of monetary regime in controlling inflation in the presence of CBI. For public agents, our results provide guidelines for formulating expectations.