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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. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  2. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
  3. Altig, David E & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Lindé, Jesper, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Klaus Adam, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 263, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Luigi Paciello, 2009. "Does Inflation Adjust Faster to Aggregate Technology Shocks than to Monetary Policy Shocks?," EIEF Working Papers Series 0917, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Apr 2011.
  6. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  8. Christian Hellwig & Laura Veldkamp, 2006. "Knowing what others Know: Coordination motives in information acquisition," 2006 Meeting Papers 361, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Alessandro Pavan & George-Marios Angeletos, 2008. "Policy with Dispersed Information," 2008 Meeting Papers 1103, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Jennifer La'O & George-Marios Angeletos, 2009. "Dispersed Information over the Business Cycle: Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," 2009 Meeting Papers 221, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 164-169, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  18. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Business cycle dynamics under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1331, European Central Bank.
  19. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  20. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  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.
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