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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Lorenzoni, 2007. "News Shocks and Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 12898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12898
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2009. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(1), pages 11-60, March.
    2. Cedric Tille & Eric van Wincoop, 2009. "Disconnect and Information Content of International Capital Flows: Evidence and Theory," Working Papers 102009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    3. Samuel Wills, 2014. "Optimal Monetary Responses to Oil Discoveries," CAMA Working Papers 2014-37, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. George-Marios Angeletos & Guido Lorenzoni & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Wall Street and Silicon Valley: A Delicate Interaction," NBER Working Papers 13475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Muto, Ichiro, 2013. "Productivity growth, transparency, and monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 329-344.
    6. Samuel Wills, 2012. "Optimal Monetary Responses to Oil Discoveries," Discussion Papers 1408, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM), revised Apr 2014.
    7. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2008. "International Capital Flows under Dispersed Information: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Manuel Amador & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 866-907.
    9. Pengfei Wang & Yi Wen, 2007. "Incomplete information and self-fulfilling prophecies," Working Papers 2007-033, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    10. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
    11. Badarinza, Cristian & Margaritov, Emil, 2011. "News and policy foresight in a macro-finance model of the US," Working Paper Series 1313, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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