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Information acquisition and learning from prices over the business cycle

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  • Taneli M�kinen

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Bj�rn Ohl

    (Narodowy Bank Polski)

Abstract

We study firms� incentives to acquire costly information in booms and recessions to understand the role of endogenous information in explaining business cycles. We find that when the economy has been in a recession in the previous period, and firms enter the current period with a pessimistic belief, the incentive to acquire information is stronger than when the economy has been in a boom and firms share an optimistic belief. The cyclicality of the aggregate learning outcome is moderated by the price system, which transmits information from informed to uninformed firms, thus dampening information demand. Though learning from equilibrium prices acts to stabilize fluctuations by discouraging information acquisition, it can be welfare-enhancing to make information prohibitively costly to obtain.

Suggested Citation

  • Taneli M�kinen & Bj�rn Ohl, 2014. "Information acquisition and learning from prices over the business cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 946, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_946_14
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    Cited by:

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    2. Pavan, Alessandro & Vives, Xavier, 2015. "Information, Coordination, and Market Frictions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 407-426.
    3. Gene Ambrocio, 2020. "Rational exuberance booms," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 35, pages 263-282, January.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Liu, Xuewen & Wang, Pengfei, 2016. "Endogenous information acquisition and countercyclical uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 601-642.
    5. Yu-Ting Chiang, 2022. "Attention and Fluctuations in Macroeconomic Uncertainty," Working Papers 2022-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 09 Nov 2023.
    6. Wang, Yuanping & Wang, Dongfang & Hou, Chunxiao, 2022. "Information acquisition and asset allocation with unknown income growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 213(C).
    7. Gondhi, Naveen, 2023. "Rational inattention, misallocation, and the aggregate economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 50-75.
    8. Marinko Škare & Saša Stjepanović, 2016. "Measuring Business Cycles: A Review," Contemporary Economics, University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw., vol. 10(1), March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    information acquisition; rational expectations equilibrium; asymmetric information; strategic substitutability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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