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Listening Without Understanding : Central Bank Transparency, Financial Markets and the Crowding Out of Private Information

  • C.J.M. Kool
  • S. Rosenkranz
  • M. Middeldorp

The trend of monetary policy transparency has recently extended itself to the practice of providing guidance on the likely direction of policy rates. There is a risk that communicating the central bank’s own outlook for interest rates actually undermines the financial markets’ ability to predict monetary policy. This paper analyzes this risk using the Diamond (1985) model of a financial market, which includes both costly private information acquisition and a costless public signal. We demonstrate that a sufficiently precise signal from the central bank can result in a deterioration of the financial market’s ability to predict monetary policy through the crowding out of private information acquisition. Central banks could alleviate this risk with a policy of limiting the guidance offered to the financial market in order to leave sufficient scope for private information acquisition.

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File URL: http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/31467/07-19.pdf
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Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-19.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0719
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  1. Maria Demertzis & Marco Hoeberichts, 2007. "The Costs of Increasing Transparency," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 263-280, July.
  2. Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2006. "Prediction Markets in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5578, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2003-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Diamond, Douglas W, 1985. " Optimal Release of Information by Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1071-94, September.
  5. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
  6. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 3639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Hoeberichts, Marco & Schaling, Eric, 2000. "A Theory of Central Bank Accountability," CEPR Discussion Papers 2354, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Eric T. Swanson, 2004. "Federal Reserve transparency and financial market forecasts of short-term interest rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Geraats, P.M., 2004. "Transparency and Reputation: The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0473, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. Svensson, Lars O & Tetlow, Robert J, 2005. "Optimal Policy Projections," MPRA Paper 839, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1981. "Information aggregation in a noisy rational expectations economy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-235, September.
  12. Verrecchia, Robert E., 2001. "Essays on disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 97-180, December.
  13. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  14. David Cobham, 2003. "Why does the Monetary Policy Committee smooth interest rates?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 467-493, July.
  15. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central Bank Communication and Policy Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Verrecchia, Robert E, 1982. "Information Acquisition in a Noisy Rational Expectations Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1415-30, November.
  17. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  18. Guido Tabellini, 1986. "Secrecy of Monetary Policy and the Variability of Interest Rates," UCLA Economics Working Papers 426, UCLA Department of Economics.
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