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The Macroeconomic Effects of Infrequent Information With Adjustment Costs

  • Bonomo, Marco Antônio Cesar
  • Garcia, René

In the last decade, the potential macroeconomic effects of intermittent large adjustments in microeconomic decision variables such as prices, investment, consumption of durables or employment – a behavior which may be justified by the presence of kinked adjustment costs – have been studied in models where economic agents continuously observe the optimal level of their decision variable. In this paper, we develop a simple model which introduces infrequent information in a kinked adjustment cost model by assuming that agents do not observe continuously the frictionless optimal level of the control variable. Periodic releases of macroeconomic statistics or dividend announcements are examples of such infrequent information arrivals. We first solve for the optimal individual decision rule, that is found to be both state and time dependent. We then develop an aggregation framework to study the macroeconomic implications of such optimal individual decision rules. Our model has the distinct characteristic that a vast number of agents tend to act together, and more so when uncertainty is large. The average effect of an aggregate shock is inversely related to its size and to aggregate uncertainty. We show that these results differ substantially from the ones obtained with full information adjustment cost models.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 384.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:384
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  1. Ball, Laurence & Cecchetti, Stephen G, 1988. "Imperfect Information and Staggered Price Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 999-1018, December.
  2. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1992. "Business as Usual, Market Crashes, and Wisdom after the Fact," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1594, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1993. "Durable Goods: An Explanation for Their Slow Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 351-84, April.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Price Rigidities, Asymmetries, and Output Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1991. "Heterogeneity and Output Fluctuations in a Dynamic Menu-Cost Economy," NBER Working Papers 3729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708, August.
  9. Ederington, Louis H & Lee, Jae Ha, 1993. " How Markets Process Information: News Releases and Volatility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1161-91, September.
  10. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  11. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1990. "Kinked Adjustment Costs and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 237-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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