Central Bank Independence and Effectiveness of Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan Economies: Which Mechanism?
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What appears to be a macroeconomic performance as far as inflation is concerned in Sub-Saharan economies in the last decades has coincided with an increased autonomy of monetary authorities when it comes to the conduct of monetary policy. This paper aims at assessing the potential effect of central bank independence on the effectiveness of monetary policy in term of inflation control. Starting with the theoretical foundations that put forth the notions of creditability, reputation, and electoral constraints, the paper suggests an extended empirical approach that distinguishes among various measures of de jure and de facto independence on one hand, and the mechanisms through which the effect might occur on the other. Results based on a panel data model of inflation clearly indicate that greater independence does indeed translate into increased effectiveness of the monetary policy. More specifically, de jure independence tends to matter more than de facto independence. The results also indicate that the manipulation of the amount of liquidity in circulation and fiscal deficit is an important channel through the relationship between independence and inflation plays out. These results could further convince political authorities in the sub-continent about the necessity of less interference with the monetary authorities for the benefit of more stable dynamics of their economy.
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