DP5155 Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union

Author(s): Hans Gersbach, Volker Hahn
Publication Date: July 2005
Keyword(s): central banks, transparency voting
JEL(s): D70, E58
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5155

We examine whether the central bank council of a monetary union should publish its voting records when members are appointed by national politicians. We show that the publication of voting records lowers overall welfare if the private benefits of holding office are sufficiently low. High private benefits of central bankers lower overall welfare under opacity, as they induce European central bankers to care more about being re-appointed than about beneficial policy outcomes. We show that opacity and low private benefits jointly guarantee the optimal welfare level. Moreover, we suggest that non-renewable terms for national central bankers and delegating the appointment of all council members to a European agency would be desirable.