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Discrete Actions in Information-Constrained Tracking Problems

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  • Filip Matejka
  • Christopher A. Sims

Abstract

Optimal actions of an agent facing a Shannon capacity constraint on the translation of an uncertain signal into an action can easily turn out to be discretely distributed, even when the objective function and the initial distribution of uncertainty contain no discrete elements. We show this result analytically in a broad class of cases. It has implications for the interpretation of observed intervals between changes in prices or other economic choice variables in micro-data as indicators of costs of adjustment or of the degree of “stickiness” in responses to aggregate policy changes or business cycle fluctuations.

Suggested Citation

  • Filip Matejka & Christopher A. Sims, 2011. "Discrete Actions in Information-Constrained Tracking Problems," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp441, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp441
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    File URL: http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp441.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. James M. Snyder Jr. & Michael M. Ting & Stephen Ansolabehere, 2005. "Legislative Bargaining under Weighted Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 981-1004, September.
    3. Celik, Levent & Karabay, Bilgehan & McLaren, John, 2013. "Trade policy-making in a model of legislative bargaining," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 179-190.
    4. Baron David & Kalai Ehud, 1993. "The Simplest Equilibrium of a Majority-Rule Division Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 290-301, December.
    5. Levent Celik & Bilgehan Karabay & John McLaren, 2015. "When Is It Optimal to Delegate: The Theory of Fast-Track Authority," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 347-389, August.
    6. Eraslan, Hulya, 2002. "Uniqueness of Stationary Equilibrium Payoffs in the Baron-Ferejohn Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 11-30, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Etienne Gagnon & David López-Salido & Nicolas Vincent, 2013. "Individual Price Adjustment along the Extensive Margin," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 235-281.
    2. Marcin Kacperczyk & Jaromir B. Nosal & Luminita Stevens, 2014. "Investor Sophistication and Capital Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 20246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. George-Marios Angeletos & Chen Lian, 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics: Accommodating Frictions in Coordination," NBER Working Papers 22297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Yulei Luo & Eric R. Young, 2016. "Long‐Run Consumption Risk and Asset Allocation under Recursive Utility and Rational Inattention," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 325-362, March.
    5. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Filip Matějka, 2015. "Social Learning and Selective Attention," NBER Working Papers 21001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2010. "A "quantum" approach to rational inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Antonella Tutino, 2013. "Rationally inattentive consumption choices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 421-439, July.
    8. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:604:p:2216-2239 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles & David S. Johnson & Robert McClelland, 2013. "Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 2530-2553.
    10. Gaetano Gaballo, 2016. "Rational Inattention to News: The Perils of Forward Guidance," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 42-97.
    11. Tim Willems, 2017. "Actively Learning by Pricing: A Model of an Experimenting Seller," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2216-2239, September.
    12. Luigi Paciello, 2012. "Monetary Policy and Price Responsiveness to Aggregate Shocks under Rational Inattention," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(7), pages 1375-1399, October.
    13. Vojtech Bartos & Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Filip Matejka, 2013. "Attention Discrimination: Theory and Field Experiments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp499, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    14. Batchuluun, Altantsetseg & Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2014. "Portfolio Choice with Information-Processing Limits," MPRA Paper 58538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1065 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rational inattention; adjustment frictions; sticky prices;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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