The politics of central banking: Using text-as-data to analyse technocratic responsiveness

Sandwich Lunch provided

Independent central banks have come to invest increasingly in two-way engagement with citizens. Yet, we know little about whether any ‘learning’ takes place at the side of the organisations. As they are insulated from political and public preferences, central banks are unlikely to follow citizen input in their policy choices. Yet, it is possible that their agendas take into account societal issue priorities. Our study assesses whether the topics of both the internal policy meetings and external communication of the Bank of England are influenced by the topics of newspaper articles about the Bank – our proxy for societal priorities. We find that Bank issue attention can be traced back to societal priorities in most of the domains related to the Bank’s mandate, particularly in the period after the financial crisis. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the politics of central banking and non-majoritarian governance more broadly.