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Government Information Transparency

This paper studies a model of announcements by a privately informed government about the future state of the economic activity in an economy subject to recurrent shocks and with distortions due to income taxation. Although transparent communication would ex ante be desirable, we find that even a benevolent government may ex-post be non-informative, in an attempt to countervail the tax distortion with a "second best" compensating distortion in information. This result provides a rationale for independent national statistical offices, committed to truthful communication. We also find that whether inequality in income distribution favors or harms government transparency depends on labor supply elasticity.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 774.09.

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Length: 47
Date of creation: 14 May 2009
Date of revision: 10 Feb 2010
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:774.09
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  1. 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 520-39, May.
  2. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
  3. Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
  4. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  5. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239.
  6. Seonghwan Oh & Michael Waldman, 1990. "The Macroeconomic Effects of False Announcements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1017-1034.
  7. Oh, S. & Waldman, M., 1990. "The Macroeconomic Effects Of False Announcements," Papers 17, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  8. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 3639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," NBER Working Papers 6452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Petra M. Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 235-268, 08.
  11. Stephen Morris & Jeffery D. Amato & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Communication and Monetary Policy," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm345, Yale School of Management.
  12. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  13. Blinder, Alan S. & Ehrmann, Michael & de Haan, Jakob & Fratzscher, Marcel & Jansen, David-Jan, 2008. "Central Bank communication and monetary policy: a survey of theory and evidence," Working Paper Series 0898, European Central Bank.
  14. E. Kohlberg & J.-F. Mertens, 1998. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 445, David K. Levine.
  15. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2008. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 86, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  16. Farrell Joseph, 1993. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 514-531, October.
  17. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  18. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2006. "Inequality, Lobbying, and Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 257-279, March.
  19. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  20. André Sapir & Xavier Debrun, 2010. "Government Size and Output Volatility: Should We Forsake Automatic Stabilization ?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/174323, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  21. 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 473-91, June.
  22. Cho, In-Koo, 1987. "A Refinement of Sequential Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1367-89, November.
  23. Weiss, Laurence, 1976. "The Desirability of Cheating Incentives and Randomness in the Optimal Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1343-52, December.
  24. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "Good, Bad or Ugly? On the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2004. "The optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 801, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  26. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  27. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:1:p:155-175 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Manuel Amador & Pierre Olivier Weill, 2008. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," 2008 Meeting Papers 390, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  29. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
  30. F. Barigozzi & B. Villeneuve, 2004. "The signaling effect of tax policy," Working Papers 500, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  31. Rodriguez Mora, Jose V. & Schulstad, Paul, 2007. "The effect of GNP announcements on fluctuations of GNP growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1922-1940, November.
  32. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  33. Seonghwan Oh & Michael Waldman, 2005. "The Index of Leading Economic Indicators as a Source of Expectational Shocks," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 75-95, Winter.
  34. Sleet, Christopher, 2001. "On Credible Monetary Policy and Private Government Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 338-376, July.
  35. Alessandro Gavazza & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2009. "Transparency and Economic Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1023-1048.
  36. Ying Chen & Navin Kartik & Joel Sobel, 2008. "Selecting Cheap-Talk Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 117-136, 01.
  37. 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.
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