IMF builds new measure of central bank independence

First “entirely new” metric in 30 years seeks to overcome limitations of much-cited paper

International Monetary Fund Headquarters 2, Washington, DC
International Monetary Fund Headquarters 2, Washington, DC
Photo: John Harrington

Researchers at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including one of its top executives, have developed a new means of quantifying central bank independence.

In their paper, the IMF team boils independence down to 10 key variables, while adding new areas of focus that it says were absent from an influential 1992 paper. Tobias Adrian, the IMF’s financial counsellor, and co-authors Ashraf Khan and Lev Menand believe their approach is the first “entirely new” independence metric for 30 years.


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