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Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge

  • Adam, Klaus

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. JEL Classification: E31, E52, D82

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0223.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030223
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  1. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
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  3. Stephen Morris & Hyun S Shin, 2001. "Global Games: Theory and Applications," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001080, David K. Levine.
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  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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  17. 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.
  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. Nimark, Kristoffer P., 2005. "Calvo pricing and imperfect common knowledge: a forward looking model of rational inflation inertia," Working Paper Series 0474, European Central Bank.
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