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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. Jeffery Amato & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Communication and Monetary Policy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000330, David K. Levine.
  2. Klaus Adam, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 263, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Kenneth Rogoff, 2003. "Globalization and global disinflation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 45-78.
  4. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cukierman, Alex, 2001. "Are Contemporary Central Banks Transparent about Economic Models and Objectives and What Difference Does it Make?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Christian Hellwig, 2002. "Public Announcements, Adjustment Delays, and the Business Cycle (November 2002)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 208, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Socially Optimal Coordination: Characterization and Policy Implications," Discussion Papers 1496, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  12. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  13. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Bank Credibility: Why Do We Care? How Do We Build It?," NBER Working Papers 7161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P.M., 2004. "How Transparent Are Central Banks?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0411, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Heterogeneous Information and the Benefits of Public Information Disclosures (October 2005)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  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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