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Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge

  • Klaus Adam

We study optimal nominal demand policy in an economy with monopolistic competition and flexible prices when firms have imperfect common knowledge about the shocks hitting the economy. Parametrizing firms' information imperfections by a (Shannon) capacity parameter that constrains the amount of information flowing to each firm, we study how policy that minimizes a quadratic objective in output and prices depends on this parameter. When price setting decisions of firms are strategic complements, for a large range of capacity values optimal policy nominally accommodates mark-up shocks in the short-run. This finding is robust to the policy maker observing shocks imperfectly or being uncertain about firms' capacity parameter. With persistent mark-up shocks accommodation may increase in the medium term, but decreases in the long-run thereby generating a hump-shaped price response and a slow reduction in output. Instead, when prices are strategic substitutes, policy tends to react restrictively to mark-up shocks. However, rational expectations equilibria may then not exist with small amounts of imperfect common knowledge.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank in its series DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) with number 116.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:staffs:116
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  1. Eric van Wincoop & Philippe Bacchetta, 2004. "Can Information Heterogeneity Explain the Exchange Rate Determination Puzzle?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 628, Econometric Society.
  2. Jeffery D. Amato & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Public and Private Information in Monetary Policy Models," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 117, Netherlands Central Bank.
  3. Kenneth Kasa, 2000. "Forecasting the Forecasts of Others in the Frequency Domain," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 726-756, October.
  4. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2007. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 6243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  16. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2001. "Indicator Variables for Optimal Policy under Asymmetric Information," NBER Working Papers 8255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
  19. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  20. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
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