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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. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-37, September.
  2. Oh, S. & Waldman, M., 1990. "The Macroeconomic Effects Of False Announcements," Papers 17, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  3. Manuel Amador & Pierre Olivier Weill, 2008. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," 2008 Meeting Papers 390, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Farrell Joseph, 1993. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 514-531, October.
  5. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:1:p:155-175 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  7. 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," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-45, December.
  8. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  10. Petra M. Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 235-268, 08.
  11. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2008. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 86, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  12. F. Barigozzi & B. Villeneuve, 2004. "The signaling effect of tax policy," Working Papers 500, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  13. 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.
  14. Xavier Debrun & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Andr� Sapir, 2008. "Government size and output volatility: should we forsake automatic stabilization?," European Economy - Economic Papers 316, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  15. Alessandro Gavazza & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2009. "Transparency and Economic Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1023-1048.
  16. M. Demertzis & A. Hughes Hallet, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 704, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  17. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  18. Stephen Morris & Jeffery D. Amato & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Communication and Monetary Policy," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm345, Yale School of Management.
  19. Sleet, Christopher, 2001. "On Credible Monetary Policy and Private Government Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 338-376, July.
  20. 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.
  21. Ying Chen & Navin Kartik & Joel Sobel, 2008. "Selecting Cheap-Talk Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 117-136, 01.
  22. 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.
  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. 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.
  25. Richard J. Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," NBER Working Papers 2507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.).
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2006. "Inequality, Lobbying, and Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 257-279, March.
  33. repec:bla:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:1023-1048 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Cho, In-Koo, 1987. "A Refinement of Sequential Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1367-89, November.
  35. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
  36. 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.
  37. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239, October.
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