This paper provides background information to the main Board paper, “The Role and Limits of Unconventional Monetary Policy.” This paper is divided in five distinct sections, each focused on a different topic covered in the main paper, though most relate to bond purchase programs. As a result, this paper centers on the experience of the United States Federal Reserve (Fed), the Bank of England (BOE) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ), mostly leaving the European Central Bank (ECB) aside given its focus on restoring the functioning of financial markets and intermediation. Section A explores whether bond purchase programs were effective at decreasing bond yields and, if so, through which channels. Section B goes one step further in evaluating whether bond purchase programs had—or can be expected to have—significant effects on real growth and inflation. Section C studies the spillover effects of bond purchases on both advanced and emerging market economies, using very similar methods as introduced in the first section. Section D breaks from the immediate focus on bond purchases to discuss how inflation might decrease the debt burden in advanced economies, in light of possible pressures that could fall (or be perceived to fall) on central banks. Finally, Section E discusses the possible risks of exiting given the very large central bank balance sheets.
Mr. Marcel Peter, Mr. Scott Roger, and Mr. Geoffrey M Heenan
Transparency is a central element in most aspects of the design and operation of inflation targeting regimes. This paper focuses on three elements of inflation targeting most closely associated with transparency: (i) the institutional arrangements supporting inflation targeting; (ii) the specification of the inflation target; and (iii) the central bank's policy communications. The paper is primarily aimed at providing practical advice to countries planning to develop an inflation targeting framework, but many of the issues are relevant for any credible, independent monetary policy.
This paper surveys decision-making roles of governing bodies of central banks that have formally adopted inflation targeting as a monetary framework. Governance practices seek to balance institutional independence needed for monetary policy credibility with accountability required to protect democratic values. Central bank laws usually have price stability as the primary monetary policy objective but seldom require an explicit numerical inflation target. Governments are frequently involved in setting targets, but to ensure operational autonomy, legal provisions explicitly limit government influence in internal policy decision-making processes. Internal governance practices differ considerably with regard to the roles and inter-relationships between the policy, supervisory, and management boards of a central bank.
This report on Adopting Inflation Targeting describes the trade-offs raised in the formulation of an inflation targeting framework and states the approaches to these trade-offs used by inflation targeting countries. The inherent differences discussed in this report between the six emerging market inflation targeting countries—Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, and South Africa—and other emerging market countries may shed some light on the preferred starting point and conditions for inflation targeting. Most central banks in emerging market countries have taken important organizational steps to enhance their capacity to apply greater judgment and foster transparency and accountability. These steps can be particularly challenging for emerging market central banks that have traditionally operated with controls and regulations and have been reluctant to communicate their policy intentions and economic outlooks. During the transition to full-fledged inflation targeting, several emerging market countries have confronted the challenge of dis-inflating to the long-run inflation objective.