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Monetary Policy and its Informative Value

  • Camille Cornand
  • Romain Baeriswyl

This paper analyzes the welfare effects of economic transparency in the conduct of monetary policy. We propose a model of monopolistic competition with imperfect common knowledge on the shocks affecting the economy where the central bank has no inflationary bias. In this context, monetary policy entails a dual role. The instrument of the central bank is both an action that stabilizes the economy and a public signal that partially reveals to firms the central bank's assessment about the state of the economy. Yet, firms are unable toperfectly disentangle the central bank's signals responsible for the instrument and the central bank optimally balances the action and information purposes of its instrument. We derive the optimal monetary policy and the optimal central bank's disclosure. We define transparency as an announcement by the central bank that allows firms to identify the rationale behind the instrument. It turnsout that transparency is welfare increasing (i) when the degree of strategic complementarities is low, (ii) when the economy is not too affected by mark-up shocks, (iii) when the central bank is more inclined towards price stabilization, (iv) when firms have relatively precise private information, and (v) when the central bank's information is relatively precise on demand shocks and relatively imprecise on mark-up shocks. These results rationalize the increase in trans-parency in the current context of relative low sensitivity of the economy to mark-up shocks and of strong central bank's preference for price stability.JEL classification: E52, E58, D82.Keywords: differential information, monetary policy, transparency.

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Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp569.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp569
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  1. Baeriswyl, Romain & Cornand, Camille, 2007. "Can Opacity of a Credible Central Bank Explain Excessive Inflation?," Discussion Papers in Economics 1376, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  12. Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2003. "Globalization and global disinflation," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-112.
  13. Christian Hellwig, 2002. "Public Announcements, Adjustment Delays, and the Business Cycle (November 2002)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 208, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Efficient Use of Information and Social Value of Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1103-1142, 07.
  15. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  18. Baeriswyl, Romain, 2007. "Central Bank's Action and Communication," Discussion Papers in Economics 1381, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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