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The dissent voting behaviour of central bankers: what do we really know?

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We examine the determinants of the dissent in central bank boards voting records about monetary policy rates in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, the UK and the US. In contrast to previous studies, we consider 25 different macroeconomic, financial, institutional, psychological or preference-related factors jointly and use Bayesian model averaging (BMA) to formally assess the attendant model uncertainty. We find that the rate of dissent is between 5% and 20% for the examined central banks. Our results suggest that most of the examined regressors, including factors that capture the effects of inflation and output, are not robust determinants of voting dissent. This result suggests that unobserved characteristics of central bankers and different communication strategies drive the dissent, rather than the level of macroeconomic uncertainty.

Keywords: E52; E58; dissent; monetary policy; voting record

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic 2: CERGE-EI, Prague, Czech Republic

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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