Workshop "Central banking, monetary policy and social responsibility"

7 décembre 2022 - 8 décembre 2022
8h30 Accueil café.
This two-day workshop aims to explore a still largely ignored influence of central banks’ monetary policy on the economy and society, namely the relationship between central banks and democracy, or the specific socio-economic context between monetary policy and social responsibility.

The topic of social responsibility is really innovative and timely. Indeed, central banks as institutions perform the social mission of producing a public good – macroeconomic stability and prosperity for now – by achieving their targeted macroeconomic objectives. Central banks are the “agent” of a “principal” (society) and its political representatives (generally politicians). However, central bankers are not democratically elected, instead being appointed by politicians on the basis of their competencies, namely, their ability to reach the targets defined by the “principal”. Thus, central banks should ensure that people have confidence in their actions, and central bankers must demonstrate that they are not elites disconnected from the will of people.
Reciprocal trust between central banks and society is the cornerstone of central banks’ performance, and of their broader social legitimacy. Through their performance, central banks must redefine their relations with society in order to be perceived as legitimate and reliable. Therefore, central banks can no longer be seen as “black boxes”, which provide a purely “technical”, disembodied image of their operations, actions and missions: as institutions embodying the will of the people, central banks must really embody what society is and central banks must be aware of the whole social consequences of their actions. Central banks are not neutral with respect to the consequences of their actions.
Conversely, central banks wield significant societal power through the definition and implementation of monetary policy about the economy and society: central banks exercise “structural power” on societies, influencing their structures and dynamics through the regulation of credit growth and inflation in particular. Central bankers’ expertise gives them power. The exercise of this power must be more “embedded” in the functioning of society: central bankers and central banks at large must think of the social responsibility associated with their power. At stake is macroeconomic stability but also the improvement of society global well-being and ethics. The workshop will cope with all these issues.
Overall, the workshop addresses the issue of central banks’ social responsibility, in the sense that central banks should redefine their policies and internal functioning in a way that would better reflect the social consequences of their actions in an increasingly complex economic context. We deal with several concerns that have become of paramount importance for central banks: independence, confidence people place in central banks, new societal concerns, central banks’ new internal organizations.
We are proposing this workshop in relation to the publication of the book Central banking, monetary and social responsibility (Edward Elgar Publishing). Gathering eminent scholars, this book will be at the forefront of the leading research on the topic. The book is also part of the new series “The Elgar Series on Central Banking and Monetary Policy’, which deals with other related critical issues (environment, income distribution, the future of money, etc.).

Programme (à venir).




Saint-Martin-d'Hères - Domaine universitaire
Amphitéâtre, MSH Alpes
Mis à jour le 27 septembre 2022