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Aggregate demand shocks, private signals and employment variability: Can better information be harmful?


  • James, Jonathan G.
  • Lawler, Phillip


The consequences of private information concerning the realization of aggregate demand shocks are investigated in the context of a standard macroeconomic model. It is found that an improvement in information quality can be damaging, in the sense of amplifying employment fluctuations. The source of this result is an externality arising from individual firm wage decisions, which leads to a collective over-reaction to private information.

Suggested Citation

  • James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2008. "Aggregate demand shocks, private signals and employment variability: Can better information be harmful?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 101-104, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:100:y:2008:i:1:p:101-104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2007. "Supply shocks, private sector information and monetary policy: Is there inevitably a stabilization trade-off?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 77-83, July.
    2. Lawler, Phillip, 2002. "Monetary uncertainty, strategic wage setting and equilibrium employment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 35-40, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Devereux, Michael, 1987. "The effect of monetary variability on welfare in a simple macroeconomic model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 427-435, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    7. Laurence Ball, 1988. "Is Equilibrium Indexation Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 299-311.
    8. James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2006. "Might a conservative central banker reduce employment variability?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 367-373, December.
    9. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    10. Pearce, Douglas K. & Sobue, Motoshi, 1997. "Uncertainty and the inflation bias of monetary policy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 203-207, December.
    11. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2009. "Aggregate demand shocks, central bank preferences and macroeconomic outcomes with imperfect information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 208-210, December.
    2. James, Jonathan G. & Lawler, Phillip, 2012. "Heterogeneous information quality; strategic complementarities and optimal policy design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 342-352.

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