Shifting discourses of the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve System: Exploring structural space in semantic networks

Posted by Adina Nerghes on Saturday, June 11, 2016 Under: Abstracts

Using semantic network analysis, we explore a combination of structural measures, the structural space method. This method proves valuable for a more comprehensive dynamic analysis of large formal discourse corpora. Formal discourse is characterized by repetitive, and perhaps uninformative top ranked concepts, which makes the more subtle dynamic discursive shifts difficult to recognize. Combining popularity and connectivity potential of concepts in semantic networks, we reveal important dynamic shifts in the discourses of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve System (FED). Structurally different, the roles of the ECB and the FED and their main objectives are comparable. These organizations determine the monetary policy for large currency areas and use communications as policy instruments to influence financial market developments. Their roles and consequently their discourse become even more important in times of crisis when financial market uncertainties intensify. This prompts a close investigation of how the discursive practices of the ECB and the FED have been affected by the financial crisis. The press releases issued by the ECB and the FED have been aggregated into four sets of two years representing the pre-crisis period, the crisis period, the post-crisis period, and the recovery period. Our analysis shows crisis-oriented terminology emerging since the pre-crisis period in both discourses and that the post-crisis discourse of the ECB enters a ‘new’ state containing characteristics of both the pre-crisis and the crisis period. This state appears to be a transition in the ECB discourse towards a new state and not towards the status quo of the pre-crisis period. In the post-crisis period, the FED’s discourse exhibits a moderate reversion to the pre-crisis period but also a significant reversal of emphasis from the crisis period. The recovery period reveals both discourses departing further from the crisis discourse.
Presented at EUSN, Barcelona, 2014

In : Abstracts