DP10442 Hawks and Doves at the FOMC

Author(s): Sylvester C W Eijffinger, Ronald J Mahieu, Louis Raes
Publication Date: February 2015
Keyword(s): central banks, committees, FOMC, ideal points, transcripts
JEL(s): C11, E58, E59
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10442

In this paper we estimate ideal points of Bank Presidents and Board Governors at the FOMC. We use stated preferences from FOMC transcipts and estimate a hierarchical spatial voting model. We find a clear difference between the average Board Governor and Bank President. We find little evidence for difference in ideal points according to the appointing president in case of Bank Governors. Similarly career background has no clear effect on the ideal points. We find that the median ideal point at the FOMC has been fairly stable over our sample period (1989-2007) emphasizing the lack of a political appointment channel. We also show that there was considerable variation in the median ideal point of Bank Presidents and Board Governors, but that these seem to cancel each other out. Also the dispersion of opinions (the spread between the lowest and highest ideal point) varies over time, suggestion variation in agreement at the FOMC.