Serie: Working Papers. 2321.
Author: Andres Alonso-Robisco and José Manuel Carbó.
Central banks are increasingly using verbal communication for policymaking, focusing not only on traditional monetary policy, but also on a broad set of topics. One such topic is central bank digital currency (CBDC), which is attracting attention from the international community. The complex nature of this project means that it must be carefully designed to avoid unintended consequences, such as financial instability. We propose the use of different Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to better understand central banks’ stance towards CBDC, analyzing a set of central bank discourses from 2016 to 2022. We do this using traditional techniques, such as dictionary-based methods, and two large language models (LLMs), namely Bert and ChatGPT, concluding that LLMs better reflect the stance identified by human experts. In particular, we observe that ChatGPT exhibits a higher degree of alignment because it can capture subtler information than BERT. Our study suggests that LLMs are an effective tool to improve sentiment measurements for policy-specific texts, though they are not infallible and may be subject to new risks, like higher sensitivity to the length of texts, and prompt engineering.