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TitleOn the efficiency-legitimacy trade-off in EMU
Author(s)Torres, Francisco
KeywordsEconomic and Monetary Union
Monetary policy delegation
Efficiency and legitimacy
Principal-agent relations
Issue date2007
PublisherUniversidade do Minho. Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas (NIPE)
CitationNIPE Working Paper series; 22
Abstract(s)This paper addresses the question whether the process of European monetary integration implies efficiency-legitimacy trade-off. The paper considers that the process of monetary policy delegation to the European Central Bank (ECB), ratified by all European Union (EU) parliaments, was a non-zero-sum game, increasing both the efficiency and the legitimacy of monetary policy in the eurozone. There was however a change in the nature of delegation: the initial principal (EU national governments and/or parliaments) delegated to the agent (the ECB) control over its behaviour in regard to monetary policy. The paper distinguishes two types of constraints for monetary policy: credibility constraints and political constraints. The change in the nature of delegation of monetary policy (tying the hands of the principal) was a means of dealing with credibility constraints. The paper goes on investigating whether, and if so to what extent, the European Parliament (EP) is fit to function as a principal of the ECB as a means of dealing with political constraints. Thus, the paper analyses the European Parliament’s increased involvement in overseeing the Central Bank’s activities, aiming at understanding whether and how that new and special role (an informal institution of dialogue) could affect the trade-off between efficiency and legitimacy in the conduct of monetary policy in the eurozone.
TypeWorking paper
DescriptionForthcoming in F. Torres, A. Verdun, and H. Zimmermann, EMU Rules: The Political and Economic Consequences of European Monetary Integration, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft I wish to thank Svetlozar Andreev, Stefano Bartolini, Annette Bongardt, Alessandra Chirico, Paul De Grauwe, Erik Jones, Philippe Schmitter, Suzanne Schüttemeyer, Amy Verdun, Neil Walker, Helen Wallace, Chiara Zilioli, Hubert Zimmermann and participants at the EUI conference and ECB seminar for very useful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Of course, all remaining errors and shortcomings are my sole responsibility.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:NIPE - Documentos de Trabalho

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