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Government Information Transparency

  • Facundo Albornoz
  • Joan Esteban
  • Paolo Vanin

This paper studies a model of announcements by a privately in- formed 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 re- sult 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 trans- parency depends on labor supply elasticity.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/09-03.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 09-03.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:09-03
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk

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  1. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Policy with Dispersed Information," NBER Working Papers 13590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-37, September.
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  5. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
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  9. Richard Arnott & Joseph E Stiglitz, 2010. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2054, David K. Levine.
  10. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 3639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. J. Farrell, 2010. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap Talk Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 533, David K. Levine.
  12. 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," Working Papers 1038, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  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.
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  15. 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.
  16. Petra Geraats, 2009. "Trends in Monetary Policy Transparency," CESifo Working Paper Series 2584, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239.
  20. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2006. "Inequality, Lobbying, and Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 257-279, March.
  21. Jeffery D. Amato & Hyun Song Shin & Stephen Morris, 2003. "Communication and monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 123, Bank for International Settlements.
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  24. 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.
  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. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
  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. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5402 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2004. "Good, bad or ugly? On the effects of fiscal rules with creative accounting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 377-394, January.
  32. repec:oup:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:1023-1048 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
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  37. Ying Chen & Navin Kartik & Joel Sobel, 2008. "Selecting Cheap-Talk Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 117-136, 01.
  38. 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.
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