Chapter 7: Central banks
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The global diffusion of the central bank independence template since the 1990s insulated central bankers from political pressures and narrowed down their regulatory objectives to price stability. Even though central bankers enjoy a high level of autonomy under this template, they are not immune to reputational threats and policy failures. This chapter exposes how central banks can be analysed as independent regulatory agencies and how agency theories shed light on the tensions underlying the delegation of competences. First, we present how different academic streams, including agency theories, have analysed the inception and developments pertaining to the CBI template. Then, we show how the reactions of central banks to the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis induced new academic debates and research agendas. The conclusion briefly exposes how central banks' reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic strengthen the relevance of these new research agendas.

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