NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Incomplete Information, Higher-Order Beliefs and Price Inertia

George-Marios Angeletos, Jennifer La'O

NBER Working Paper No. 15003
Issued in May 2009
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ME

This paper investigates who incomplete information impacts the response of prices to nominal shocks. Our baseline model is a variant of the Calvo model in which firms observe the underlying nominal shocks with noise. In this model, the response of prices is pinned down by three parameters: the precision of available information about the nominal shock; the frequency of price adjustment; and the degree of strategic complementarity in pricing decisions. This result synthesizes the broader lessons of the pertinent literature. We next highlight that his synthesis provides only a partial view of the role or incomplete information. In general, the precision of information does not pin down the response of higher-order beliefs. Therefore, once cannot quantify the degree of price inertia without additional information about the dynamics of higher-order beliefs, or the agents' forecasts of inflation. We highlight the distinct role of higher-order beliefs with three extensions of our baseline model, all of which break the tight connection between the precision of information and higher-order beliefs featured in previous work.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15003

Published: Incomplete Information, Higher-Order Beliefs, and Price Inertia [slides] Journal of Monetary Economics 56:S1 (October 2009) (with Jennifer La'O)

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