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Social Value of Public Information

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Abstract:

What are the welfare effects of enhanced dissemination of public information through the media and disclosures by market participants with high public visibility? We examine the impact of public information in a setting where agents take actions appropriate to the underlying fundamentals, but they also have a coordination motive arising from a strategic complementarity in their actions. When the agents have no socially valuable private information, greater provision of public information always increases welfare. However, when agents also have access to independent sources of information, the welfare effect of increased public disclosures is ambiguous.

Document Type: Forum Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/000282802762024610

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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