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Central Bank's Action and Communication


  • Baeriswyl, Romain


This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about the welfare effect of public information. In an environment characterized by imperfect common knowledge and strategic complementarities, Morris and Shin (2002)argue that noisy public information may be detrimental to welfare because public information is attributed too large a weight relative to its face value since it serves as a focal point. While this argument has received a great deal of attention in central banks and in the financial press, it considers communication as the sole task of a central bank and ignores that communication usually goes with a policy action. This paper accounts for the action task of a central bank and analyzes whether public disclosure is beneficial in the conduct of monetary policy when the central bank primarily tries to stabilize the economy with an instrument that is optimal with respect to its perhaps mistaken view. In this context, it turns out that transparency is particularly beneficial when central bank’s information is poorly accurate because it helps reducing the distortion associated with badly suited policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Baeriswyl, Romain, 2007. "Central Bank's Action and Communication," Discussion Papers in Economics 1381, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:1381

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heinemann, Frank & Illing, Gerhard, 2002. "Speculative attacks: unique equilibrium and transparency," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 429-450, December.
    2. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2008. "Optimal Degree of Public Information Dissemination," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 718-742, April.
    3. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Heterogeneous Information and the Benefits of Public Information Disclosures (October 2005)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 283, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Kondor, Peter, 2004. "The more we know, the less we agree: public announcements and higher-order expectations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24645, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
    6. Adam, Klaus, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-301, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2007. "Optimal Communication," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 594-602, 04-05.
    9. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    10. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2005. "Central Bank Transparency and the Signal Value of Prices," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 1-66.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Baeriswyl, Romain & Cornand, Camille, 2007. "Monetary policy and its informative value," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue March, pages 1-34.

    More about this item


    differential information; monetary policy; transparency;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • 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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