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Limited higher order beliefs and the welfare effects of public information

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  • Camille Cornand

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon)

  • Frank Heinemann

    () (Fachgebiet Makroökonomik - TUB - Technische Universität Berlin)

Abstract

In games with strategic complementarities, public information about the state of the world has a larger impact on equilibrium actions than private information of the same precision, because the former is more informative about the likely behavior of others. This may lead to welfare-reducing 'overreactions' to public signals as shown by Morris and Shin (2002). Recent experiments on games with strategic complementarities show that subjects attach a lower weight to public signals than theoretically predicted. Aggregate behavior can be better explained by a cognitive hierarchy model where subjects employ limited levels of reasoning. This paper analyzes the welfare effects of public information under such limited levels of reasoning and argues that for strategies according with experimental evidence, public information that is more precise than private information cannot reduce welfare, unless the policy maker has instruments that are perfect substitutes to private actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2013. "Limited higher order beliefs and the welfare effects of public information," Working Papers halshs-00855049, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00855049
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00855049
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2014. "Measuring agents’ reaction to private and public information in games with strategic complementarities," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 61-77, March.
    2. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2008. "On the Sources and Value of Information: Public Announcements and Macroeconomic Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 411, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Romain Baeriswyl & Camille Cornand, 2014. "Reducing Overreaction To Central Banks' Disclosures: Theory And Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1087-1126, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Romain Baeriswyl & Camille Cornand, 2014. "Reducing Overreaction To Central Banks' Disclosures: Theory And Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1087-1126, August.
    6. Fehr, Dietmar & Heinemann, Frank & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2019. "The power of sunspots: An experimental analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 123-136.
    7. Romain Baeriswyl & Camille Cornand, 2014. "Reducing Overreaction To Central Banks' Disclosures: Theory And Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1087-1126, August.
    8. Guido Lorenzoni, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Uncertain Fundamentals and Dispersed Information ," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 305-338.
    9. Mauro F Roca, 2010. "Transparency and Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," IMF Working Papers 10/91, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Romain Baeriswyl & Camille Cornand, 2014. "Reducing Overreaction To Central Banks' Disclosures: Theory And Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1087-1126, August.
    11. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    12. Jonathan G. James & Phillip Lawler, 2012. "Strategic Complementarity, Stabilization Policy, and the Optimal Degree of Publicity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 551-572, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2014. "Measuring agents’ reaction to private and public information in games with strategic complementarities," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 61-77, March.
    2. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2018. "Experiments on macroeconomics: methods and applications," Working Papers 1810, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. Hüning, Hendrik & Meub, Lukas, 2016. "Optimal public information dissemination: Introducing multiplier effects into a generalized beauty contest," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 260 [rev.], University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2018. "Experiments on macroeconomics: methods and applications," Post-Print halshs-01809937, HAL.
    5. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2014. "Experiments on Monetary Policy and Central Banking," Research in Experimental Economics, in: John Duffy (ed.),Experiments in Macroeconomics, volume 17, pages 167-227, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    6. Poeschel, Friedrich, 2012. "Assortative matching through signals," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62061, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Kneeland, Terri, 2016. "Coordination under limited depth of reasoning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 49-64.
    8. Hüning, Hendrik & Meub, Lukas, 2015. "Optimal public information dissemination: Introducing observational learning into a generalized beauty contest," HWWI Research Papers 169, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    9. Massenot, Baptiste, 2020. "Pain of Paying in a Business Cycle Model," SAFE Working Paper Series 194, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    10. Hüning, Hendrik & Meub, Lukas, 2015. "Optimal public information dissemination: Introducing observational learning into a generalized beauty contest," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 260, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    coordination games; strategic uncertainty; private information; public information; higherorder beliefs; levels of reasoning;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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