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

Listed author(s):
  • 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: https://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
Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0719
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  1. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2007. "Central Bank transparency in theory and practice," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 760-789, December.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2005. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 498-527, April.
  3. 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.
  4. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1998. "A Theory of Central Bank Accountability," Discussion Paper 1998-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Lars E.O. Svensson & Robert J. Tetlow, 2005. "Optimal Policy Projections," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
  6. Maria Demertzis & Marco Hoeberichts, 2007. "The Costs of Increasing Transparency," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 263-280, July.
  7. Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2006. "Prediction Markets in Theory and Practice," Research Papers 1927, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  8. Diamond, Douglas W, 1985. " Optimal Release of Information by Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1071-1094, September.
  9. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
  10. Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Secrecy of Monetary Policy and the Variability of Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(4), pages 425-436, November.
  11. Verrecchia, Robert E., 2001. "Essays on disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 97-180, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Verrecchia, Robert E, 1982. "Information Acquisition in a Noisy Rational Expectations Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1415-1430, November.
  14. repec:bla:joares:v:29:y:1991:i:2:p:302-321 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
  16. 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.).
  17. Geraats Petra M., 2005. "Transparency and Reputation: The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, February.
  18. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  19. 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.
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