DP9418 Inferring hawks and doves from voting records

Author(s): Sylvester C W Eijffinger, Ronald J Mahieu, Louis Raes
Publication Date: April 2013
Keyword(s): central banking, ideal points, voting record
JEL(s): C11, E58, E59
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9418

In this paper we estimate spatial voting models for the analysis of the voting record of the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England. We use a flexible Bayesian approach for estimating such models. A simple modification to the standard spatial model as well as a variety of model checks are proposed to deal with the specifics of the data available. We provide evidence that extreme policy preferences are to be found among the external members. We also consider the variation in policy preferences according to career backgrounds. The median voter preference is similar for different backgrounds, except for those with a background in the industry where the median voter is more hawkish. The heterogeneity in policy preferences is the largest among academics and those with a background in the industry. The range of policy preferences is much smaller among other groups, in particular among monetary policy committee members with central bank experience who exhibit the lowest heterogeneity in policy preferences.