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Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps

  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Christian Hellwig
  • Alessandro Pavan

This paper introduces signaling in a global game so as to examine the informational role of policy in coordination environments such as currency crises and bank runs. While exogenous asymmetric information has been shown to select a unique equilibrium, we show that the endogenous information generated by policy interventions leads to multiple equilibria. The policy maker is thus trapped into a position in which self-fulfilling expectations dictate not only the coordination outcome but also the optimal policy. This result does not rely on the freedom to choose out-of-equilibrium beliefs, nor on the policy being a public signal; it may obtain even if the policy is observed with idiosyncratic noise.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 114 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 452-484

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:114:y:2006:i:3:p:452-484
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  1. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vives, Xavier, 2002. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort: Was Bagehot Right After All?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3233, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Rational and Self-Fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," NBER Working Papers 1486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000. "Global Games: Theory and Applications," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1275, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Guimarães, Bernardo & Roubini, Nouriel, 2004. "International Lending of Last Resort and Moral Hazard: A Model of the IMF's Catalytic Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 4383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000. "Rethinking Multiple Equilibria in Macroeconomic Modelling," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1260, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Bernardo Guimaraes & Nouriel Roubini, 2003. "International Lending of Last Resort and Moral Hazard: A Model of IMF's Catalytic Finance," NBER Working Papers 10125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  9. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hans Carlsson & Eric van Damme, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001088, David K. Levine.
  12. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  13. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-fulfilling Currency Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 1687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Coordination and Policy Traps," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000294, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
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  20. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
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  23. Drazen, Allan, 2000. "Interest-rate and borrowing defense against speculative attack," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 303-348, December.
  24. Hellwig, Christian, 2002. "Public Information, Private Information, and the Multiplicity of Equilibria in Coordination Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 191-222, December.
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