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Nicolò Fraccaroli

9 August 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2018
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Abstract
This article examines the evolution of the ECB’s accountability practices during the financial crisis. After describing the challenges stemming from the crisis and changes resulting from the conferral of new supervisory tasks on the ECB, it provides evidence on how the strengthening of the ECB’s accountability has taken shape in the context of its relationship with the European Parliament in line with the latter’s key role as provided for in the Treaties. The ECB and the European Parliament, building on the accountability framework enshrined in primary law, have increased the frequency of their interactions, made innovations regarding the format and sharpened the focus of their exchanges, allowing increased scrutiny of the ECB’s policies. This has provided the ECB with more opportunities to explain its decisions and demonstrate that it is acting in accordance with its democratic mandate, which is a fundamental pillar of its legitimacy.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
8 July 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2442
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Abstract
As the role of central banks expanded, demand for public scrutiny of their actions increased. This paper investigates whether parliamentary hearings, the main tool to hold central banks accountable, are fit for this purpose. Using text analysis, it detects the topics and sentiments in parliamentary hearings of the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve from 1999 to 2019. It shows that, while central bank objectives play the most relevant role in determining the topic, unemployment is negatively associated with the focus of hearings on price stability. Sentiments are more negative when uncertainty is higher and when inflation is more distant from the central bank’s inflation aim. These findings suggest that parliamentarians use hearings to scrutinise the performance of central banks in line with their objectives and economic developments, but also that uncertainty is associated with a higher perceived risk of under-performance of central banks.
JEL Code
E02 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Institutions and the Macroeconomy
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies