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Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare

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  • Manuel Amador
  • Pierre-Olivier Weill

Abstract

We study the effect of releasing public information about productivity or monetary shocks using a micro-founded macroeconomic model in which agents learn from the distribution of nominal prices. While a public release has the direct beneficial effect of providing new information, it also has the indirect adverse effect of reducing the informational efficiency of the price system. We show that the negative indirect effect can dominate. Thus, the public information release may increase uncertainty about the monetary shock and reduce welfare. We find that the optimal communication policy is always to release either all or none of the information.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Amador & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 866-907.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/657923
    DOI: 10.1086/657923
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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