IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

News Shocks and Optimal Monetary Policy

  • Guido Lorenzoni

This paper studies monetary policy in a model where output fluctuations are caused by shocks to public beliefs on the economy's fundamentals. I ask whether monetary policy can offset the effect of these shocks and whether this offsetting is socially desirable. I consider an environment with dispersed information and two aggregate shocks: a productivity shock and a "news shock" which affects aggregate beliefs. Neither the central bank nor individual agents can distinguish the two shocks when they hit the economy. The main results are: (1) despite the lack of superior information an appropriate monetary policy rule can change the economy's response to the two shocks; (2) monetary policy can achieve full aggregate stabilization, that is, it can induce a path for aggregate output that is identical to that which would arise under full information; (3) however, full aggregate stabilization is typically not optimal. The fact that monetary policy can tackle the two shocks separately is due to two crucial ingredients. First, agents are forward looking. Second, current fundamental shocks will become public information in the future and the central bank will be able to respond to them at that time. By announcing its response to future information, the central bank can influence the expected real interest rate faced by agents with different beliefs and, thus, induce an optimal use of the information dispersed in the economy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12898.

in new window

Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12898
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  3. Reis Ricardo, 2003. "Where Is the Natural Rate? Rational Policy Mistakes and Persistent Deviations of Inflation from Target," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, September.
  4. Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 2008. "Higher Order Expectations in Asset Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jeffery Amato & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Communication and Monetary Policy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000330, David K. Levine.
  6. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 691-720, April.
  8. Cecchetti, Stephen G. & Kashyap, Anil K, 1996. "International cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 331-360, February.
  9. Franck Portier & Paul Beaudry, 2004. "When Can Changes in Expectations Cause Business Cycle Fluctuations?," 2004 Meeting Papers 865, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B & Johnsen, Thore, 1998. "Productivity Growth, Consumer Confidence and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Klaus Adam, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 116, Netherlands Central Bank.
  12. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C99-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  13. 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.
  14. Yulei Luo, 2008. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 366-385, April.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  16. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," 2006 Meeting Papers 31, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2004. "When Can Changes in Expectations Cause Business Cycle Fluctuations in Neo-Classical Settings?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4628, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. King, Robert G, 1982. "Monetary Policy and the Information Content of Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 247-79, April.
  19. Guido Lorenzoni, 2009. "A Theory of Demand Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2050-84, December.
  20. Dupor, Bill, 2005. "Stabilizing non-fundamental asset price movements under discretion and limited information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 727-747, May.
  21. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  22. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  23. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Working Papers 050608, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  24. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Should Central Banks Respond to Movements in Asset Prices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 253-257, May.
  25. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  26. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Heterogeneous Information and the Benefits of Public Information Disclosures (October 2005)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  27. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
  28. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  29. Aoki, Kosuke, 2003. "On the optimal monetary policy response to noisy indicators," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 501-523, April.
  30. Amador, Manuel & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "Learning from Private and Public Observation of Other's Actions," MPRA Paper 109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  31. McCallum, Bennett T., 1979. "A monetary policy ineffectiveness result in a model with a predetermined price level," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-4.
  32. Nimark, Kristoffer P., 2005. "Calvo pricing and imperfect common knowledge: a forward looking model of rational inflation inertia," Working Paper Series 0474, European Central Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12898. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.