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Keywords:

  • D71;
  • E52;
  • E58
  • monetary policy committees;
  • Bank of England;
  • outsiders;
  • recession aversion

The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Bank of England consists of five internal and four external members. We study the voting record and show that outsiders dissent more often than insiders and tend to prefer lower rates, especially during economic downturns. Moreover, dissents by outsiders help forecast future interest rate changes, in contrast to dissents by insiders. A model in which outsiders in contrast to insiders are “recession averse” and more uncertain regarding the appropriate level of interest rates replicates the observed voting pattern well.