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Transparency of Information and Coordination in Economies with Investment Complementarities

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  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Alessandro Pavan

Abstract

How do public and private information affect equilibrium allocations and social welfare in economies with investment complementarities? And what is the optimal transparency in the information conveyed, for example, by economic statistics, policy announcements, or news in the media? We first consider an environment where the complementarities are weak so that the equilibrium is unique no matter the structure of information. An increase in the precision of public information may have the perverse effect of increasing aggregate volatility. Nevertheless, as long as there is no value to lotteries, welfare unambiguously increases with an increase in either the relative or the absolute precision of public information. Hence, full transparency is optimal. This is because more transparency facilitates more effective coordination, which is valuable from a social perspective. On the other hand, when complementarities are strong enough that multiple equilibria are possible, more transparency permits the market to coordinate more effectively on either the bad or the good equilibrium. In this case, constructive ambiguity becomes optimal if there is a high risk that more transparency will lead to coordination failures.
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Suggested Citation

  • George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Transparency of Information and Coordination in Economies with Investment Complementarities," Discussion Papers 1494, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1494
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2001. "The advantage of transparent instruments of monetary policy," Working Papers 614, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    2. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2003. "Coordination and Policy Traps," NBER Working Papers 9767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Transparency of Information and Coordination in Economies with Investment Complementarities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 91-98, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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