DP16765 Uncertainty and Information Acquisition: Evidence from Firms and Households
We leverage the small open economy Switzerland as a testing ground for basic premises
of macroeconomic models of endogenous information acquisition, using tailored surveys
of firms and households. First, we show that firms perceive a greater exposure
to exchange rate movements than households, which is reflected in higher levels of
information acquisition and less dispersed beliefs about past and future exchange
rate realizations. Similarly, within the two samples, acquisition of exchange rate information
strongly increases in various proxies for stake size. Second, households
who perceive higher costs of acquiring or processing information acquire less information.
Finally, an exogenous increase in the perceived uncertainty of the exchange
rate increases firms’ demand for a report about exchange rate developments, but not
households’. Our findings inform the modeling of information frictions in macroeconomics.