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Wondering How Others Interpret It: Social Value of Public Information

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  • Alia Gizatulina

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

This paper studies the social value of public information in environments without common knowledge of the data-generating process. We show that the stronger the coordination motive behind agents’ behaviour is, the more they use private or public signals in the way that they suspect others are doing it. Consequently, the negative impact of public communication noted by Morris and Shin (2002) can be amplified if agents suspect that others take the public signal too literally and/or are too inattentive to their private signals. Social welfare, if measured as in Morris and Shin (2002), always increases in the precision of the public signal when each agent evaluates its precision correctly, but believes that others did not understand the public signal at all, which suggests that there is a scope to “obliterate” public communication in a specific way, by making it, e.g., sophisticated and technical. By contrast, measuring welfare as in Woodford (2005) reverses, in general, desirability for such obliteration and non-commonality of signals’ understanding.

Suggested Citation

  • Alia Gizatulina, 2013. "Wondering How Others Interpret It: Social Value of Public Information," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_08, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2013_08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morris, Stephen, 1995. "The Common Prior Assumption in Economic Theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 227-253, October.
    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. 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.
    4. Kandel, Eugene & Pearson, Neil D, 1995. "Differential Interpretation of Public Signals and Trade in Speculative Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 831-872, August.
    5. Christian Hellwig & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 223-251.
    6. Carlo Rosa & Giovanni Verga, 2008. "The Impact of Central Bank Announcements on Asset Prices in Real Time," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2), pages 175-217, June.
    7. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Heterogeneous Information and the Benefits of Public Information Disclosures (October 2005)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 283, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Lahiri, Kajal & Sheng, Xuguang, 2008. "Evolution of forecast disagreement in a Bayesian learning model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 325-340, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transparency; central bank communication; common p-belief; coordination game; higher-order uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

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