Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 47-2013
In this paper, we analyse the effects of objective and subjective knowledge about monetary policy, as well as the information search patterns, of German citizens on trust in the ECB. We rely on a unique representative public opinion survey of German households conducted in 2011. We find that subjective and factual knowledge, as well as the desire to be informed, about the ECB foster citizens' trust. Specific knowledge about the ECB is more influential than general monetary policy knowledge. Objective knowledge is more important than subjective knowledge. However, an increasing intensity of media usage, especially newspaper reading, has a significantly negative influence on trust. We conclude that the only viable way for the ECB to generate more trust in itself is to spread monetary policy knowledge.
ECB Economic knowledge German public attitudes Institutional trust