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The Eurosystem, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Bank of Japan: Similarities and Differences


  • We would like to thank for their comments, suggestions, and assistance: Dennis Blenck, Stefan Gerlach, Dale Henderson, Takatoshi Ito, Yoshikazu Morimoto, Masao Ogaki, Shinsuke Ooyama, John Rogers, Mark Wynne, Tadashi Yokoyama, various colleagues at the ECB, and two anonymous referees. We remain responsible for any errors and omissions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the ECB.


The paper provides a systematic comparison of the Eurosystem, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Bank of Japan. These monetary authorities exhibit somewhat different status and tasks, which reflect different historical conditions and national characteristics. However, widespread changes in central banking practices in the direction of greater independence and increased transparency, as well as changes in the economic and financial environment over the past 15–20 years, have contributed to reduce the differences among these three world's principal monetary authorities. A comparison based on simple “over-the-counter” policy reaction functions shows no striking differences in terms of monetary policy implementation.

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