Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 21 No. 4 (Fall 2007)


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The Evolution of Central Bank Governance around the World

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Crowe, Christopher, and Ellen E. Meade. 2007. "The Evolution of Central Bank Governance around the World." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(4): 69-90.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.21.4.69


The past two decades have seen enormous changes in central banks and their practices. In some countries, older institutions have been fundamentally restructured. In other, such as the countries of the former Soviet Union, entirely new central banks have been established. The member countries of the European Union have created a supranational central bank that oversees a monetary union. In all of these situations, central bank law was either revised or written de novo, while institutional objectives, practices, and structures were amended or created from scratch. In this article, we survey and quantify the trends in two major areas of central bank governance: independence and transparency. We document the steady progress toward greater central bank independence and transparency in a large number of industrial and developing countries over the past 10 to 15 years and discuss the effects of these aspects of governance on inflation. Finally, we touch on committee structure and decision making.

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Crowe, Christopher
Meade, Ellen E.


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