Inattentive Producers

36 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2006 Last revised: 8 Mar 2006

See all articles by Ricardo Reis

Ricardo Reis

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: December 2005

Abstract

I present and solve the problem of a producer who faces costs of acquiring, absorbing, and processing information. I establish a series of theoretical results describing the producer's behavior. First, I find the conditions under which she prefers to set a plan for the price she charges, or instead prefers to set a plan for the quantity she sells. Second, I show that the agent rationally chooses to be inattentive to news, only sporadically updating her information. I solve for the optimal length of inattentiveness and characterize its determinants. Third, I explicitly aggregate the behavior of many such producers. I apply these results to a model of inflation. I find that the model can fit the quantitative facts on post-war inflation remarkably well, that it is a good forecaster of future inflation, and that it survives the Lucas critique by fitting also the pre-war facts on inflation moderately well.

Suggested Citation

Reis, Ricardo A.M.R., Inattentive Producers (December 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11820. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=875696

Ricardo A.M.R. Reis (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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