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Monetary Policy Activism and Price Responsiveness to Aggregate Shocks under Rational Inattention

  • Paciello, Luigi

This paper presents a general equilibrium model that is consistent with recent empirical evidence showing that the U.S. price level and inflation are much more responsive to aggregate technology shocks than to monetary policy shocks. The model of this paper builds on recent work by Mackowiak and Wiederholt (2009), who show that models of endogenous attention allocation deliver prices to be more responsive to more volatile shocks as, everything else being equal, firms pay relatively more attention to more volatile shocks. In fact, according to the U.S. data, aggregate technology shocks are more volatile than monetary policy shocks inducing in this paper, firms to pay more attention to the former than to the latter. However, most important, this work adds to the literature by showing that the ability of the model of this paper to account for observed price dynamics crucially depends on monetary policy. In particular, this paper shows how interest rate feedback rules affect the incentives faced by firms in allocating attention. A policy rate responding more actively to expected inflation and output fluctuations induces firms to pay relatively more attention to more volatile shocks. This new mechanism of transmission of monetary policy helps rationalizing the observed behavior of prices in response to technology and monetary policy shocks, and implies novel predictions about the impact of changes in Taylor rules coefficients on economic fluctuations.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16407.

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Date of creation: 18 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16407
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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 164-169, May.
  2. David Altig & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2010. "Firm-specific capital, nominal rigidities and the business cycle," International Finance Discussion Papers 990, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Klaus Adam, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 263, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  7. John Fernald, 2012. "A quarterly, utilization-adjusted series on total factor productivity," Working Paper Series 2012-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Jennifer La'O & George-Marios Angeletos, 2011. "Dispersed Information over the Business Cycle: Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," 2011 Meeting Papers 1381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  10. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2008. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 86, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  11. Hellwig, Christian & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  14. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  16. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2003. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Working Papers 2003-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  17. Luigi Paciello, 2011. "Does Inflation Adjust Faster to Aggregate Technology Shocks than to Monetary Policy Shocks?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(8), pages 1663-1684, December.
  18. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Business cycle dynamics under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1331, European Central Bank.
  19. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  20. Dupor, Bill & Han, Jing & Tsai, Yi-Chan, 2009. "What do technology shocks tell us about the New Keynesian paradigm?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 560-569, May.
  21. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  22. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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