Are independent central banks better at controlling inflation than central banks under political control?

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Alberto Alesina elaborates upon his 1993 paper and recent criticisms that independent central banks are too secretive and put the banks’ interests before taxpayers’ both with cries of “audit the Fed,” in the US and in the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May has said the Bank of England’s policies widened inequality and some politicians have called for more central bank oversight. Alberto Alesina is the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1986.  He served as Chairman of the Department of Economics from 2003 – 2006. He is a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He is a member of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is the director of the political economy program of the NBER since 2006.

He is has published extensively in all major academic journals in economics. He has published five books. Amongst those are: The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline, published by MIT Press, with Francesco Giavazzi and Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference, published by Oxford University Press, with Edward Glaeser. He has been a Co-editor of  the Quarterly Journal of Economics for six years and Associate Editor of many  academic journals. He has published columns in many leading newspapers around the world and has visited several institutions including MIT, Tel Aviv University, University of Stockholm, The World Bank, and the IMF. He holds a visting position with IGIER Bocconi.


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