Reducing overreaction to central banks' disclosures:theory and experiment

Dr. Romain Baeriswyl and Camille Cornand



JEL classification
C92, D82, D84, E58

heterogeneous information, public information, overreaction, transparency, coordination, experiment


Financial markets are known for overreacting to public information. Central banks can reduce this overreaction either by disclosing information to a fraction of market participants only (partial publicity) or by disclosing information to all participants but with ambiguity (partial transparency). We show that, in theory, both communication strategies are strictly equivalent in the sense that overreaction can be indifferently mitigated by reducing the degree of publicity or by reducing the degree of transparency. We run a laboratory experiment to test whether theoretical predictions hold in a game played by human beings. In line with theory, the experiment does not allow the formulation of a clear preference in favor of either communication strategy. This paper then discusses the opportunity for central banks to choose between partial transparency and partial publicity to control market reaction to their disclosures.