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Why the Publication of Socially Harmful Information May Be Socially Desirable

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Abstract

We propose a signaling model in which the central bank and firms receive information on cost-push shocks independently from each other. If the firms’ signals are rather unlikely to be informative, central banks should remain silent about their own private signals. If, however, firms are sufficiently likely to be informed, it is socially desirable for the central bank to reveal its private information. By doing so, the central bank eliminates the distortions stemming from the signaling incentives under opacity. Our model may also explain the recent trend towards more transparency in monetary policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 09/122.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:09-122

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Keywords: signaling games; transparency; monetary policy; central banks; communication;

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  1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
  2. Laurence Ball & N Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," Economics Working Paper Archive 491, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  3. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," CEPR Discussion Papers 1852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," DNB Working Papers 170, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. Gersbach, Hans & Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Monetary Policy Inclinations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  7. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  8. Jensen, Henrik, 2002. " Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
  9. Sibert, Anne, 2002. "Monetary policy with uncertain central bank preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1093-1109, June.
  10. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  11. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2009. "Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 831-853, 08.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  13. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2007. "Information Content of Wages and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(1), pages 133-149, 02.
  14. Anne Sibert, 2009. "Is Transparency About Central Bank Plans Desirable?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 831-857, 06.
  15. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2002. "A Simple Framework for International Monetary Policy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  17. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  18. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  19. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
  20. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
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