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Reducing overreaction to central banks' disclosures : theory and experiment

  • Romain Baeriswyl

    (Swiss National Bank - Swiss National Bank)

  • Camille Cornand

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS)

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    Financial markets are known for overreacting to public information. Central banks can reduce this overreaction either by disclosing information to a fraction of market participants only (partial publicity) or by disclosing information to all participants but with ambiguity (partial transparency). We show that, in theory, both communication strategies are strictly equivalent in the sense that overreaction can be indi-erently mitigated by reducing the degree of publicity or by reducing the degree of transparency. We run a laboratory experiment to test whether theoretical predictions hold in a game played by human beings. In line with theory, the experiment does not allow the formulation of a clear preference in favor of either communication strategy. This paper, however, makes a case for partial transparency rather than partial publicity because the latter seems increasingly diffcult to implement in the present information age and is associated with discrimination as well as fairness issues.

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    Date of creation: 09 Jan 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00657943
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    1. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2004. "Optimal Degree of Public Information Dissemination," CESifo Working Paper Series 1353, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 2004. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 133-153, February.
    3. Antonio Cabrales & Rosemarie Nagel & Roc Armenter, 2007. "Equilibrium selection through incomplete information in coordination games: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(3), pages 221-234, September.
    4. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2010. "Measuring Agents' Reaction to Private and Public Information in Games with Strategic Complementarities," CESifo Working Paper Series 2947, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "The Theory of Global Games on Test: Experimental Analysis of Coordination Games with Public and Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1583-1599, 09.
    6. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
    7. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Transparency of Information and Coordination in Economies with Investment Complementarities," NBER Working Papers 10391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Camille Cornand, 2006. "Speculative Attacks and Informational Structure: an Experimental Study," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 797-817, November.
    9. Jeffery Amato & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Communication and Monetary Policy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000330, David K. Levine.
    10. Hellwig, Christian & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
    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. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
    14. Dmitry Shapiro & Xianwen Shi & Artie Zillante, 2009. "Robustness of Level-k Reasoning in Generalized Beauty Contest Games," Working Papers tecipa-380, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    15. Baeriswyl, Romain & Cornand, Camille, 2010. "The signaling role of policy actions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 682-695, September.
    16. Heinemann, Frank & Illing, Gerhard, 2002. "Speculative attacks: Unique equilibrium and transparency," Munich Reprints in Economics 19430, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    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. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
    19. Camille Cornand, 2006. "Speculative Attack and Informational Structure: an Experimental Study," Post-Print halshs-00360088, HAL.
    20. Romain Baeriswyl, 2011. "Endogenous Central Bank Information and the Optimal Degree of Transparency," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(2), pages 85-111, June.
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