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Public and Private Information in Monetary Policy Models

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  • Hyun Song Shin
  • Jeffery D. Amato

Abstract

We examine the impact of public information in an economy where agents also have diverse private information. Our work builds on seminal contributions by Townsend (1983) and Phelps (1983), and more recently Woodford (2002), which emphasized the importance of higher-order beliefs – that is, beliefs about the beliefs of others – in an environment where agents’ interests are intertwined. Following Woodford, our focus is on the pricing behaviour of monopolistically competitive firms, where the intertwining of interests arises from strategic complementarity in the pricing decisions of firms. In setting prices, firms try to second-guess prices set by their competitors. Our analysis proceeds in two steps. Beginning with a series of simplified examples, we show how differentially informed firms follow pricing rules that suppress their own information, but instead put disproportionately large weight on commonly shared information. For reasonable degrees of strategic complementarity, the aggregate price suffers substantial information loss, and therefore ceases to be an informative signal of the underlying demand and cost conditions. We follow this up by developing a general equilibrium model incorporating households and the central bank. We find that the disproportionate role of public information degrades the informational value of economic outcomes for firms and the policymaker alike, alters the welfare consequences of increased precision of public information and generates distinctive time series characteristics of some macro variables. In part, these results extend a recent finding by Morris and Shin (2002) that increased precision of public information may impair social welfare in a game of second-guessing reminiscent of Keynes's `beauty contest'. Finally, we trace out the welfare implications of different parametrizations of the policy rule, particularly focusing upon the implications of the relative precision of private and public information
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Suggested Citation

  • Hyun Song Shin & Jeffery D. Amato, 2003. "Public and Private Information in Monetary Policy Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 38, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf3:38
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adam, Klaus, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-301, March.
    2. Charles Bean, 2003. "Asset Prices, Financial Imbalances and Monetary Policy: Are Inflation Targets Enough?," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.),Asset Prices and Monetary Policy, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Franklin Allen & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Beauty Contests, Bubbles and Iterated Expectations in Asset Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1406, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jeffery Amato & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Public and Private Information in Monetary Policy Models," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000092, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252242x, December.
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    9. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2002. "Monetary policy and real stabilization," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 261-312.
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    13. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(s1), pages 1-35.
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    17. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    18. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric Van Wincoop, 2006. "Can Information Heterogeneity Explain the Exchange Rate Determination Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 552-576, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    differential information; strategic complementarities; monetary policy; inflation targeting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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