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Does clarity make central banks more engaging? Lessons from ECB communications

Federico Maria Ferrara and Siria Angino

European Journal of Political Economy, 2022, vol. 74, issue C

Abstract: Despite increasing communication efforts, it may be difficult for central banks to engage the public, as their language is often too difficult to understand for most citizens. Focusing on the case of the European Central Bank (ECB), we hypothesise that greater communication clarity is conducive to stronger engagement. We rely on readability metrics to measure the clarity of ECB communications. We show that communication clarity is a significant and robust predictor of the media engagement generated by the ECB with its speeches, press conferences and tweets. Our findings are validated by a placebo test and have significant policy implications for central bank communication.

Keywords: Central bank communication; Clarity; ECB; Engagement; Media; Readability metrics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2021.102146

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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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