Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research

Research Area: Monetary Policy
Researcher: Brian Fabo,
Martina Jancokova,
Elisabeth Kempf,
Lubos Pastor
Date: 1.1.2021

Central banks sometimes evaluate their own policies. To assess the inherent conflict of interest, the authors compare the research findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). They find that central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. Central bankers are also more likely to report significant effects of QE on output and to use more positive language in the abstract. Central bankers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks reveals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.

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