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Solidifying Consensus. An Inquiry into the Expertise of European Monetary Policy Makers

Sebastian Heidebrecht ()
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Sebastian Heidebrecht: University of Duisburg-Essen, Researcher at the Chair of European Integration and European Politics, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg

Credit and Capital Markets, 2018, vol. 51, issue 1, 127-150

Abstract: Economic experts are increasingly involved in European macroeconomic policymaking and their expertise in turn matters for economic outcomes. This fact is of particular significance with regard to the case of independent European central bankers, for monetary policy and beyond. This article presents new empirical data on who European central bankers are, and what kind of expertise they hold. It identifies patterns of expertise composition in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in longitudinal and cross-country comparison, thereby reflecting the ideational macroeconomic policy consensus of the EMU and its on first sight paradoxical – because of contradictory directions of fiscal and monetary policy – macroeconomic policy mix. The article infers two complementary logics – one of intergovernmental negotiations and another of imposed consolidation demands – by using a mixed-methods approach. It proposes these logics to leverage explanations for the resilience of EMU’s paradoxical macroeconomic policy consensus. They provide insights on the causal mechanisms of central banker expert appointments and thus explanations for both the homogeneity and dominance of ordo- and neo-liberal economic expertise. Against the backdrop of asymmetric effects of the European policy-mix and because consolidation demands and intergovernmental rationalities entail certain risks, the article highlights the importance of consideration of the politics of expertise.

JEL-codes: B52 E58 P51 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:kuk:journl:v:51:y:2018:i:1:p:127-150