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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. 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.
  2. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Faust, John, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Seminar Papers 636, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  3. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick Kehoe, 2003. "The Optimal Degree of Discretion in Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joseph Farrell., 1986. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Economics Working Papers 8609, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. 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.
  7. E. Kohlberg & J.-F. Mertens, 1998. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 445, David K. Levine.
  8. F. Barigozzi & B. Villeneuve, 2004. "The signaling effect of tax policy," Working Papers 500, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. Alessandro Pavan & George-Marios Angeletos, 2008. "Policy with Dispersed Information," 2008 Meeting Papers 1103, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  12. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2006. "Inequality, Lobbying, and Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 257-279, March.
  13. Jeffery D. Amato & Hyun Song Shin & Stephen Morris, 2003. "Communication and monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 123, Bank for International Settlements.
  14. Maria Demertzis & Andrew Hughes Hallet, 2003. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 105, Netherlands Central Bank.
  15. Oh, Seonghwan & Waldman, Michael, 1990. "The Macroeconomic Effects of False Announcements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1017-34, November.
  16. Petra M. Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 235-268, 08.
  17. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "Good, Bad or Ugly?on the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," IMF Working Papers 00/172, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Jon Faust & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 7152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239, October.
  21. Richard Arnott & Joseph E Stiglitz, 2010. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2054, David K. Levine.
  22. 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.
  23. Jean Pisani-Ferry & Xavier Debrun & André Sapir, 2008. "Government Size and Output Volatility; Should We forsake Automatic Stabilization?," IMF Working Papers 08/122, International Monetary Fund.
  24. 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.
  25. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  26. Ying Chen & Navin Kartik & Joel Sobel, 2008. "Selecting Cheap-Talk Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 117-136, 01.
  27. Sleet, Christopher, 2001. "On Credible Monetary Policy and Private Government Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 338-376, July.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:1:p:155-175 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Alessandro Gavazza & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2009. "Transparency and Economic Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1023-1048.
  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. 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.
  34. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  35. Cho, In-Koo, 1987. "A Refinement of Sequential Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1367-89, November.
  36. repec:bla:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:1023-1048 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. 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.
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