How do the media scrutinise central banking? Evidence from the Bank of England

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Abstract

Central bank independence has raised questions of accountability ever since its global diffusion in the 1990s, and especially since the financial crisis. Yet, whilst the literature on central banks' legislative oversight has expanded, the role of the media as account holders has been left largely unexplored. We assess media scrutiny by using an original dataset of news articles about the Bank of England published between 1997 and 2020, and by analysing the relationship between central banking outcomes and scrutiny in the form of evaluative and negative coverage of the Bank. We find that the variation in such coverage can be traced back to policy outcomes, but the association is largely confined to the post-crisis period. The findings support a view of the media as instrumental in central bank oversight, but also show the limits of this form of accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102296
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Volume77
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • central banking
  • accountability
  • media scrutiny
  • performance
  • automated text analysis
  • Bank of England

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