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When and How Much to Talk: Credibility and Flexibility in Monetary Policy With Private Information

  • Michelle R. Garfinkel

    (UCLA)

  • Seonghwan Oh

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

This paper analyzes how noisy or imprecise announcements might partially remove the inefficiencies resulting from the credibility problem in monetary policy when the presence of non-verifiable private information adds another dimension to that problem. The analysis finds that imprecise or noisy announcements can be a meaningful form of communication only if it is possible to "tie" the hands of the monetary authority somehow. To the extent that it is otherwise efficient for policy to react to the monetary authority?s private information, such announcements can be extremely costly in terms of the sacrifice in flexibility required to make them relevant. Suprisingly, the conditions under which the monetary authority can make more precise announcements are identical to those under which the monetary authority is less likely to prefer the noisy announcement equilibrium.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/workingpapers/wp593.pdf
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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series UCLA Economics Working Papers with number 593.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1990
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:593
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/

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  1. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  2. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  3. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
  4. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  5. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Cukierman, A. & Liviatan, N., 1989. "Optimal Accommodation By Strong Policymakers Under Incomplete Information," Papers 13-89, Tel Aviv.
  7. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Cheap Talk and the Fed: A Theory of Imprecise Policy Announcements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 32-42, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Garfinkel, Michelle R & Oh, Seonghwan, 1993. "Strategic Discipline in Monetary Policy with Private Information: Optimal Targeting Horizons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 99-117, March.
  11. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1987. "Reputational constraints on monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 141-181, January.
  12. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Seonghwan Oh, 1990. "Strategic Discipline in Monetary Policy With Private Information: Optimal Targeting Periods," UCLA Economics Working Papers 584, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Lewis, Karen K, 1991. "Why Doesn't Society Minimize Central Bank Secrecy?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 403-15, July.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  15. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1988. "Monetary Policy Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  18. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1989. "Monetary Policy Strategies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 612-632, September.
  19. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 10, December.
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