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The personal computer and the development of websites permit everyone to have rapid access to enormous quantities of data. If it were ever true that policy analysis in developed countries was hindered by availability of timely information, that restriction has now all but disappeared. Data in developed countries become available to all interested parties everywhere almost as soon as they are put out.
The organizers of the Bank of Japan's eighth international conference ask us to consider an important question: Has the quality of information increased commensurately? Do we now know substantially more about what is happening in the world or in our own countries. Or, has the increase in information lagged far behind the increase in data which central bankers and financial markets receive?