Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics: The Myth of Neutrality

Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics: The Myth of Neutrality

by Christopher Adolph


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Most studies of the political economy of money focus on the laws protecting central banks from government interference; this book turns to the overlooked people who actually make monetary policy decisions. Using formal theory and statistical evidence from dozens of central banks across the developed and developing worlds, this book shows that monetary policy agents are not all the same. Molded by specific professional and sectoral backgrounds and driven by career concerns, central bankers with different career trajectories choose predictably different monetary policies. These differences undermine the widespread belief that central bank independence is a neutral solution for macroeconomic management. Instead, through careful selection and retention of central bankers, partisan governments can and do influence monetary policy - preserving a political trade-off between inflation and real economic performance even in an age of legally independent central banks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107567092
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/10/2016
Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
Pages: 390
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Christopher Adolph is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he is also a core member of the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. He is a former Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research and won the American Political Science Association's Mancur Olson Award for the best dissertation in political economy. His research on comparative political economy and quantitative methods has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Political Analysis, Social Science and Medicine and other academic journals.

Table of Contents

1. Agents, institutions, and the political economy of performance; 2. Career theories of monetary policy; 3. Careers and inflation in industrial democracies; 4. Careers and the monetary policy process; 5. Careers and inflation in developing countries; 6. The uses of autonomy: what independence really means; 7. Partisan governments, labor unions, and monetary policy; 8. The politics of central banker appointment; 9. The politics of central banker tenure; 10. Conclusion: the dilemma of discretion.

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