Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 11-2015
We analyse German citizens' knowledge about monetary policy and the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as the public's use of mass communication media to obtain information about the ECB. We employ a unique representative public opinion survey of German households conducted in 2011. We find that a person's desire to be informed about the ECB, together with the use of various media channels to keep informed, are decisive for both (i) the person's perception of how much he or she knows about the ECB and (ii) the person's actual knowledge. The media-related influence varies by level of education and is stronger for subjective knowledge. Women are significantly less interested in and knowledgeable about the ECB. We conclude that the ECB is not only well advised to continue with education programmes designed to convince the public of the importance of knowing about monetary policy, but to take the gender-specific differences into account in doing so.
ECB Economic knowledge Subjective knowledge Information