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Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention

  • Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam
  • Wiederholt, Mirko

This paper develops a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with rational inattention. Households and decision-makers in firms have limited attention and decide how to allocate their attention. The paper studies the implications of rational inattention for business cycle dynamics. Impulse responses in the model have several properties of empirical impulse responses. Prices respond slowly to monetary policy shocks, faster to aggregate TFP shocks, and very quickly to disaggregate shocks. Therefore, profit losses due to deviations of the actual price from the profit-maximizing price are an order of magnitude smaller than in the Calvo model that generates the same real effects. Consumption responds slowly to aggregate shocks. For standard parameter values, deviations from the consumption Euler equation are cheap in utility terms, implying that households devote little attention to the consumption-saving decision and react slowly to changes in the real interest rate.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7691.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7691
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  1. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2012. "Reset Price Inflation and the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2798-2825, October.
  2. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  3. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.
  4. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc & Mihov, Ilian, 2007. "Sticky Prices and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Disaggregated US Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. David E. Altig & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2004. "Firm-specific capital, nominal rigidities, and the business cycle," Working Paper 0416, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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  7. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
  8. Yulei Luo, 2005. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Macroeconomics 0505011, EconWPA, revised 03 Jun 2005.
  9. Christopher D. Carroll & Jiri Slacalek & Martin Sommer, 2008. "International Evidence on Sticky Consumption Growth," NBER Working Papers 13876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mirko Wiederholt, 2010. "rational inattention," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  11. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2010. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7691, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2006. "Menu costs, multi-product firms, and aggregate fluctuations," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/13, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2096, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 12022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2007. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 13366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Luigi Paciello, 2009. "Monetary Policy and Price Responsiveness to Aggregate Shocks under Rational Inattention," EIEF Working Papers Series 0916, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2011.
  17. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Hellwig, Christian & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203, April.
  20. Luigi Paciello, 2008. "The Response of Prices to Technology and Monetary Policy Shocks under Rational Inattention," EIEF Working Papers Series 0816, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Nov 2007.
  21. Mirko Wiederholt & Emanuel Moench & Bartosz Maćkowiak, 2009. "Sectoral Price Data and Models of Price Setting," 2009 Meeting Papers 666, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  23. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  24. Marcin Kacperczyk & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Rational Attention Allocation Over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Guido Lorenzoni, 2009. "A Theory of Demand Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2050-84, December.
  26. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  27. Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp408, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  28. Antonella Tutino, 2008. "The rigidity of choice: Lifecycle savings with information-processing limits," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  30. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:4:p:1295-1328 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. repec:oup:restud:v:57:y:1990:i:2:p:183-203 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Paciello, Luigi, 2009. "Monetary Policy Activism and Price Responsiveness to Aggregate Shocks under Rational Inattention," MPRA Paper 16407, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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