Decentralization and Accountability within the Central Bank: Any Lessons from the US Experience for the Potential Organization of a European Central Banking Institution?

  • Niels Thygesen
  • Jean-Jacques Rey


Reference is occasionally made in official reports, e.g. in the Werner Report and in proposals by individual economists on the future development of European monetary integration, to the experience with central banking in the United States as a possible model for a European central banking structure. The purpose of the present short note is to review some features of the evolution of the decision-making process in the Federal Reserve System that appear relevant from a European perspective. It seems more instructive to look at the experience of an existing federal banking system which has evolved over the past 75 years than to start from more abstract notions of how such a system might be designed. The analogy may seem relevant only in an advanced state of integration where there is already one common currency, but that is, in the author’s view, incorrect. Some of the analogies are relevant already in the present state with separate national currencies.


Monetary Policy Central Bank Federal Reserve European Central Banking Monetary Aggregate 
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Copyright information

© Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Thygesen
  • Jean-Jacques Rey

There are no affiliations available

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