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Optimal Policy Intervention and the Social Value of Public Information

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  • Jonathan G. James
  • Phillip Lawler

Abstract

Svensson (2006) argues that Morris and Shin (2002) is, contrary to what is claimed, pro-transparency. This paper reexamines the issue but with an important modification to the original Morris and Shin framework. Recognizing that central banks impact the economy not only indirectly via public announcements, but also directly through policy actions, we consider the social value of public information in the presence of active policy intervention. Our results strengthen Morris and Shin's conclusions considerably: in particular, we find that public disclosure of the central bank's information is unambiguously, i.e., regardless of parameter values, undesirable. (JEL D82, D83, E52, E58)

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan G. James & Phillip Lawler, 2011. "Optimal Policy Intervention and the Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1561-1574, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:4:p:1561-74
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Oh, Seonghwan, 1995. "When and how much to talk credibility and flexibility in monetary policy with private information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 341-357, April.
    2. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
    3. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2002. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 520-539, May.
    4. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2009. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(1), pages 11-60, March.
    5. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
    6. Jensen, Henrik, 2002. " Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
    7. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Socially Optimal Coordination: Characterization and Policy Implications," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 585-593, 04-05.
    8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    9. Mauro F Roca, 2010. "Transparency and Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," IMF Working Papers 10/91, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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