DP8192 Monetary Policy in the Media

Author(s): Helge Berger, Michael Ehrmann, Marcel Fratzscher
Publication Date: January 2011
Keyword(s): communication, coverage, ECB, media, monetary policy, press
JEL(s): E52, E58
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8192

Just like private companies depend crucially on their ability to reach customers, policymakers must communicate with private agents to be successful--and much of this communication is channeled through the media. This is especially true for central banks because the effectiveness of monetary policy depends to a large degree on their credibility among the general public. Using the case of the European Central Bank (ECB), the paper analyses the favorableness with which monetary policy decisions are reported upon in the print media. We find that media coverage is, among other things, influenced by the amount of information communicated by the ECB. There are, however, also indications of a critical monitoring role assumed by the media, which tends to report more negatively on ECB policy decisions when inflation exceeds the inflation target.