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What's Behind "Inflation Perceptions"? A Survey-Based Analysis of Italian Consumers

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Author Info

  • Paolo del Giovane
  • Silvia Fabiani
  • Roberto Sabbatini

    ()
    (Bank of Italy, Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy Department)

Abstract

This study investigates inflation perceptions, and their relationship with factors likely to affect them, through a survey of a representative sample of Italian consumers. The results show that reported inflation is, on average, much higher than measured by official statistics. Inflation perceptions are higher for women, the unemployed and less educated individuals, as well as for consumers with some forms of financial distress. A very low knowledge of the inflation concept and related statistics and an inaccurate memory of past prices turn out to play a significant role in explaining the highest class of perceptions. These results suggest that when consumers express their opinions on what they report as “inflation”, they are incorporating a complex combination of forces that go well beyond the phenomena measured by official inflation statistics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 25-52

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v68_n1_p25-52

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Related research

Keywords: inflation; consumers; perceptions; euro;

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Cited by:
  1. Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoogduin, L.H., 2010. "Optimal Central Bank transparency," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4163962, Tilburg University.
  2. Lena Vogel & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, 2009. "Prospect Theory and Inflation Perceptions - An Empirical Assessment," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200903, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.

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