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Effective Policy Communication: Targets versus Instruments

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco D'Acunto

    (Boston College - Carroll School of Management)

  • Daniel Hoang

    (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - Department for Finance and Banking)

  • Maritta Paloviita

    (Bank of Finland)

  • Michael Weber

    (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; NBER)

Abstract

Communication targeting households and ï¬ rms has become a stand-alone policy tool of many central banks. But which forms of communication, if any, can reach ordinary people and manage their economic expectations effectively? In a large-scale randomized control trial, we show that communication manages expectations when it focuses on policy targets and objectives rather than on the instruments designed to reach such objectives. It is especially the least sophisticated demographic groups, which central banks typically struggle to reach, who react more to target-based communication. When exposed to target-based communication, these groups are also more likely to believe that policies will beneï¬ t households and the economy. Target-based communication enhances policy effectiveness and contributes to strengthen the public’s trust in central banks, which is crucial to guarantee the credibility of their policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Maritta Paloviita & Michael Weber, 2020. "Effective Policy Communication: Targets versus Instruments," Working Papers 2020-148, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2020-148
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    1. Bernard, René & Tzamourani, Panagiota & Weber, Michael, 2022. "Climate change and individual behavior," Discussion Papers 01/2022, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Mikosch, Heiner & Roth, Christopher & Sarferaz, Samad & Wohlfart, Johannes, 2021. "Uncertainty and Information Acquisition: Evidence from Firms and Households," CEPR Discussion Papers 16765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Francesco D’Acunto & Andreas Fuster & Michael Weber, 2021. "Diverse Policy Committees Can Reach Underrepresented Groups," NBER Working Papers 29275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Maritta Paloviita & Michael Weber, 2019. "Human Frictions to the Transmission of Economic Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 339, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Ehrmann, Michael & Holton, Sarah & Kedan, Danielle & Phelan, Gillian, 2021. "Monetary policy communication: perspectives from former policy makers at the ECB," Working Paper Series 2627, European Central Bank.
    6. Assenmacher, Katrin & Glöckler, Gabriel & Holton, Sarah & Trautmann, Peter & Ioannou, Demosthenes & Mee, Simon & Alonso, Conception & Argiri, Eleni & Arigoni, Filippo & Bakk-Simon, Klára & Bergbauer, , 2021. "Clear, consistent and engaging: ECB monetary policy communication in a changing world," Occasional Paper Series 274, European Central Bank.
    7. Conrad, Christian & Enders, Zeno & Glas, Alexander, 2022. "The role of information and experience for households’ inflation expectations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    8. Annika Weber & Christine Laudenbach & Johannes Wohlfart, 2021. "Beliefs About the Stock Market and Investment Choices: Evidence from a Field Experiment," CEBI working paper series 21-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    9. Michael Weber & Francesco D'Acunto & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2022. "The Subjective Inflation Expectations of Households and Firms: Measurement, Determinants, and Implications," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 157-184, Summer.
    10. Blinder, Alan S. & Ehrmann, Michael & de Haan, Jakob & Jansen, David-Jan, 2022. "Central Bank communication with the general public: promise or false hope?," Working Paper Series 2694, European Central Bank.
    11. Beutel, Johannes & Metiu, Norbert & Stockerl, Valentin, 2021. "Toothless tiger with claws? Financial stability communication, expectations, and risk-taking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 53-69.
    12. Francesco D'Acunto & Ulrike M. Malmendier & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2022. "What Do the Data Tell Us about Inflation Expectations?," CESifo Working Paper Series 9602, CESifo.
    13. Kristoffersen, Eivind & Blomsma, Fenna & Mikalef, Patrick & Li, Jingyue, 2020. "The smart circular economy: A digital-enabled circular strategies framework for manufacturing companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 241-261.
    14. Christine Laudenbach & Annika Weber & Johannes Wohlfart, 2021. "Beliefs about the Stock Market and Investment Choices: Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 9427, CESifo.
    15. Binder, Carola Conces, 2021. "Household expectations and the release of macroeconomic statistics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    16. Christine Laudenbach & Annika Weber & Johannes Wohlfart, 2021. "Beliefs About the Stock Market and Investment Choices: Evidence from a Field Experiment," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 128, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral macroeconomics; heterogeneous beliefs; limited cognition; expectations formation; household finance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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