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Two turbulent centuries: Lessons from Austria’s monetary policy, 1816-2016

Author(s): Ernest Gnan, Clemens Jobst

Date published: Dec 2016

In 2016, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank celebrated its 200th anniversary. As part of a coordinated research project, the OeNB also issued a special double issue of its quarterly bulletin Monetary Policy & the Economy Q3-Q4/2016 covering a broad range of themes in two hundred years of central banking in Austria.

The financial crisis of 2008 has upset several firmly-held beliefs about the role of central banks and the design of their policies. Central banks have changed their instruments and assumed new responsibilities. A new consensus, comparable to one prevalent during the Great Moderation, however, is yet to emerge. At this juncture, taking a look at the long-run evolution of central banking helps put changes (and continuities) into perspective and provides a fruitful way to reflect on the possible future of central banking.

In the special issue of Monetary Policy & the Economy entitled “Two hundred years of central banking in Austria: selected topics” 15 authors analyse nine themes in the last 200 years of Austrian monetary history. Except one all articles address one particular aspect of central banking in a very-long run perspective: the determinants of inflation performance, the relationship to the government, the choice of an external anchor, responsibility for financial stability and lending of last resort, and last but not least, the central bank as provider of both cash and non-cash means of payment. We found the following themes to be of wider relevance to the readers of the SUERF Policy Note, also for future central bank and monetary policy design:

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SUERF Policy Note, No 9SUERF Policy Note, No 9

Two turbulent centuries: Lessons from Austria’s monetary policy, 1816-2016Web version: Two turbulent centuries: Lessons from Austria’s monetary policy, 1816-2016

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