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Research Centre publishes its 1,000th discussion paper

The Bundesbank’s Research Centre has published its 1,000th discussion paper. In this anniversary issue, economist Arne Halberstadt investigates how expert surveys can be used to model interest rate expectations.

The Discussion Paper series was launched in the mid-1990s by the Bundesbank’s chief economist at the time, Otmar Issing, whose aim was to give the economists a forum to examine a research topic in greater detail. Unlike the Bundesbank’s Monthly Reports, discussion papers do not reflect the Bundesbank’s official policy but instead the personal views of the authors themselves. They are now drawn from from various areas of the Bundesbank; for many years already, discussion papers have increasingly been collaborations between multiple experts, and nowadays often involve researchers from universities or other institutions as well.

Aim: publication in a journal

In addition, the variety of topics covered by discussion papers has expanded considerably. Whereas in the early years the focus was almost exclusively on monetary policy, many papers today closely examine questions relating to topics such as financial stability or banking supervision. “Prior to publication, discussion papers are reviewed mostly by external experts, similar to the publication process for articles in scientific journals – this is how we ensure that our papers uphold rigorous academic standards,” says Emanuel Mönch, head of the Bundesbank’s Research Centre, adding that publication as discussion papers is generally merely a prelude to subsequent publication in an academic journal.