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Reducing overreaction to central banks' disclosures:theory and experiment

  • Romain Baeriswyl
  • Camille Cornand

Financial markets are known for overreacting to public information. Central banks can reduce this overreaction either by disclosing information to a fraction of market participants only (partial publicity) or by disclosing information to all participants but with ambiguity (partial transparency). We show that, in theory, both communication strategies are strictly equivalent in the sense that overreaction can be indifferently mitigated by reducing the degree of publicity or by reducing the degree of transparency. We run a laboratory experiment to test whether theoretical predictions hold in a game played by human beings. In line with theory, the experiment does not allow the formulation of a clear preference in favor of either communication strategy. This paper then discusses the opportunity for central banks to choose between partial transparency and partial publicity to control market reaction to their disclosures.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2012-08.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2012-08
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  1. repec:bla:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:1:p:223-251 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Hellwig, Christian & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cornand, Camille & Heinemann, Frank, 2006. "Optimal Degree of Public Information Dissemination," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 158, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Jeffery Amato & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Communication and Monetary Policy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000330, David K. Levine.
  5. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2001. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25046, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Antonio Cabrales & Rosemarie Nagel & Roc Armenter, 2007. "Equilibrium selection through incomplete information in coordination games: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 221-234, September.
  7. Baeriswyl, Romain & Cornand, Camille, 2010. "The signaling role of policy actions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 682-695, September.
  8. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  9. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Heterogeneous Information and the Benefits of Public Information Disclosures (October 2005)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2014. "Measuring agents’ reaction to private and public information in games with strategic complementarities," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 61-77, March.
  11. Heinemann, Frank & Illing, Gerhard, 2002. "Speculative attacks: Unique equilibrium and transparency," Munich Reprints in Economics 19430, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  13. Camille Cornand, 2006. "Speculative Attacks and Informational Structure: an Experimental Study," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 797-817, November.
  14. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "The Theory of Global Games on Test: Experimental Analysis of Coordination Games with Public and Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1583-1599, 09.
  15. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Transparency of Information and Coordination in Economies with Investment Complementarities," NBER Working Papers 10391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Dmitry Shapiro & Xianwen Shi & Artie Zillante, 2009. "Robustness of Level-k Reasoning in Generalized Beauty Contest Games," Working Papers tecipa-380, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  17. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
  18. Romain Baeriswyl, 2011. "Endogenous Central Bank Information and the Optimal Degree of Transparency," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(2), pages 85-111, June.
  19. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  20. Camille Cornand, 2006. "Speculative Attack and Informational Structure: an Experimental Study," Post-Print halshs-00360088, HAL.
  21. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
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