We investigate the implications for the setting of interest rates when monetary policy decisions are taken by a committee, in which a subset of members may meet prior to the voting in the committee and therefore has the possibility to reach consensus ex ante to vote unanimously ex post. We allow for different committee sizes, various voting rules and differences in skills among committee members. We find that the size of the committee is much less important in deter- mining the degree of interest rate inertia than the skills of committee members. Moreover, prior interaction of a subgroup only has a minor effect on the setting of interest rates by the committee, provided that members on average are equally skilled and voting takes place using a simple majority rule. If either of those assumptions are relaxed, prior interaction has substantial effects on the setting of interest rates. In addition, prior interaction increases the optimal size of the Committee, ceteris paribus.

interest rates, monetary policy, voting
Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects) (jel E52), Central Banks and Their Policies (jel E58)
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Tinbergen Institute

Berk, J.M, & Bierut, B.K. (2003). Committee Structure and its Implications for Monetary Policy Decision-making (No. TI 03-053/2). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/6706