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Volatile Policy and Private Information: The Case of Monetary Policy

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  • Larry E. Jones
  • Rodolfo E. Manuelli

Abstract

In this paper we study how volatility in monetary policy affects economic performance in the presence of endogenously chosen information structures. To isolate the effects produced by the interaction of uncertainty in monetary policy and (possibly) asymmetric information, we consider a model in which in the absence of either one of these features the equilibrium would be efficient. The equilibria that we find, with volatility and asymmetry of information, are inefficient for two reasons: first, in some cases, economic agents fail to trade, even though it is always efficient to do so; second, to capture the rents associated with being informed, agents spend resources acquiring socially useless information. Thus, in addition to the more standard effects of volatile inflation, our model calls attention to two types of costs associated with monetary uncertainty: the cost of not trading, and the cost of allocating resources to wasteful activities. The model implies that if monetary policy is not volatile all agents are symmetrically informed and hence, the outcome is efficient. Alternatively, making policy transparent,' i.e guaranteeing that all agents share the same information, serves the same purpose.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1999. "Volatile Policy and Private Information: The Case of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 7072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7072 Note: EFG
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roubini, Nouriel & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1995. "A growth model of inflation, tax evasion, and financial repression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 275-301, April.
    2. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-748, September.
    3. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
    4. Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
    5. V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1995. "The growth effects of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 18-32.
    6. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Real Effects of Monetary Shocks in an Economy with Sequential Purchases," NBER Working Papers 4250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gomme, Paul, 1993. "Money and growth revisited : Measuring the costs of inflation in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-77, August.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    9. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1997. "A framework for the analysis of moderate inflations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 45-65.
    10. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    11. Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "Inflation and Relative Prices Evidence from Argentina," UCLA Economics Working Papers 661, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brett Katzman & John Kennan & Neil Wallace, 1999. "Optimal monetary impulse-response functions in a matching model," Working Papers 595, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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