Campanella, Miriam L. (1999) “ECOFIN-11 and the European Central Bank: A Rational Choice Perspective”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Unpublished)
Drawing from a public choice perspective, this paper challenges the dominant normative view that in order to fill the lack of accountability in the ECB statute (Eijffinger, 1998) a fitting democratic interlocutor should be created. (Tabellini, 1998). Though a normative approach may prove to be limited in real application, but useful as a regulative principle, the paper takes a realistic stance. It considers the limited provision of accountability not as a technical defect, but as a result of a deliberate political design to weaken ECB in its capacity of consensus building. Under providing a central bank with accountability creates smoke screens for governments looking for re-election. By shifting attention toward euro governments’ preferences, the paper finds that the EMU project incorporates such a constraint. In Section 1, after reviewing the rationale of delegation of monetary policy, which is at the basis of independence status, the paper finds how, little room, instead, is devoted in the Maastricht Treaty to the issue of accountability. Section 2 reviews some recent projects on reshaping the workings of ECOFIN relative to coordination policy, target zones and interest rate policy. Section 3 assesses the ECB monetary policy in the perspective of strategic interaction perspective.
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