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The skill profile of central bankers and supervisors

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Using a new database covering some 91 supervisory agencies, this paper examines how important various skilled experts are in the regulatory process and the relative usage of different kinds of such experts. We seek to explore what kind of perspective supervisors in different institutional settings may adopt: a macro-oriented perspective or a more micro-approach? The answer to this question is relevant, as there is evidence that any financial crises have been macro-induced. It is found that central banks employ more economists and fewer lawyers in their supervisory/financial stability wing than non-central bank supervisory agencies. Next, there are significant economies of scale in financial supervision, though this can be measured by several alternative variables (e.g. the relative scale of bank intermediation). Finally, there do not appear to be major economies of scope. A more complex financial system with a well-developed stock market would need both more supervisors as well as more skilled ones.

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