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Asymmetric information and rational expectations: When is it right to be "wrong"?

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  • Demertzis, Maria
  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew

Abstract

In this paper we examine the effects of private agents being less than fully rational in their expectations. We examine this in the context of monetary policy, where the Central Bank may have uncertain preferences either by choice or by necessity. The new feature is that we allow the public to react in two different ways. They either form rational expectations and internalize the uncertainty about the Central Bank's preferences in full; or alternatively, and if this process of internalization is costly, it forms a 'best' guess regarding those preferences. This implies a certainty equivalence strategy applied to the preference parameters. As those parameters enter the decisions non-linearly, a systematic error emerges. We examine the magnitude of the resulting error in inflation and output, following the assumption of certainty equivalence. Under all reasonable levels of uncertainty, this error turns out to be small but involves trading a deflation bias against the cost of gathering the information needed for the full information rational expectations' solution.

Suggested Citation

  • Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2008. "Asymmetric information and rational expectations: When is it right to be "wrong"?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1407-1419, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:27:y:2008:i:8:p:1407-1419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Charemza, Wojciech & Ladley, Daniel, 2016. "Central banks’ forecasts and their bias: Evidence, effects and explanation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 804-817.
    2. Anna Loleyt & Ilya Gurov, 2011. "The process of formation of inflation expectations in an information economy," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Initiatives to address data gaps revealed by the financial crisis", Basel, 25-26 August 2010, volume 34, pages 104-127 Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich, 2007. "Fiscal-monetary Interactions: The Effect of Fiscal Restraint and Public Monitoring on Central Bank Credibility," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 559-576, November.

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