Enhancing the Attractiveness and Readability of Central Bank Reports: An Experiment

Silvana Prodan, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Dan Cristian Dabija
2022 New Trends in Sustainable Business and Consumption   unpublished
Central banks can use their communication with the citizens as a tool to increase the efficiency of their monetary policy objectives. A forerunner in this sense is the Bank of England (BoE), who has already started layering its publications, by enhancing their readability, making the texts easily understandable and attractive visually, so that they can address an audience as broad as possible. Using the BoE approach, the text of one Monetary Policy Report (MPR) of the European Central Bank
more » ... has been layered in one control condition (the Monetary Policy Decision of December 2018) and four treatment groups, consisting of the same text, written in four different ways (the Objective and the Subjective Visual Summary, the Objective and the Subjective Relatable Summary). The citizens' comprehension and trust levels of every text were then tested, to find the best writing and visual text presentation technique that would enhance the efficiency of the ECB's communication strategy. In this way, the entire MPR was made more understandable for the citizens, making it more user friendly and logic, thus increasing the visibility of the organization and allowing it to be more friendly perceived. It is well known that communication and monetary policy are linked: if the recipients of a central bank message understand and trust it, they will act accordingly and thus develop a unique contribution in helping the ECB positively support the economy and the entire banking system and indirectly help it properly implement its monetary policy goals. The results of an empirical investigation conducted on the above-mentioned texts among European citizens showed that citizens tend to trust texts that are easily understandable and visually attractive and that they like objectively and simple presented information. The results of our study could be also replicated by national banks of the European Union and/or other public institutions that could benefit from enhanced trust, a better image and develop a proper binding towards citizens.
doi:10.24818/basiq/2022/08/020 fatcat:j4npcn42wrfkbcsmdc3b34w2ra