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Measuring inflation expectations: a survey data approach

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  • Jan Marc Berk
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    Abstract

    Measures of expected inflation from consumer surveys are derived using a modification of the Carlson-Parkin probability approach, which does not assume unbiasedness of expectations, makes use of survey data on expected future as well as perceived past price developments and allows for time varying response thresholds. We apply this method to the normal, central-t and noncentral-t distributions, thereby investigating the effects of nonnormal peakedness and asymmetry. We find that the effects on expected inflation of the former are small and of the latter are substantial, without increasing the accuracy of the expectations, however. Expected and actual inflation show substantial persistence, and, for most of our expectations measures, are cointegrated. Furthermore, the forecast error is stationary, implying weak-form rationality. The co-movement of currently observed expected inflation measures and the unobserved 12-months-ahead inflation rate is of interest for policy makers, for example in the direct inflation targeting strategy. Notwithstanding this, caution is warranted in using them as information variables because the inflation expected by consumers is no causal determinant of actual future inflation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 31 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 1467-1480

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:31:y:1999:i:11:p:1467-1480

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    1. Batchelor, R. A., 1981. "Aggregate expectations under the stable laws," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 199-210, June.
    2. Balcombe, Kelvin, 1996. "The Carlson-Parkin method applied to NZ price expectations using QSBO survey data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 51-57, April.
    3. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    4. Cooley, Thomas F & Prescott, Edward C, 1976. "Estimation in the Presence of Stochastic Parameter Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 167-84, January.
    5. Batchelor, R A, 1986. "Quantitative v. Qualitative Measures of Inflation Expectations," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(2), pages 99-120, May.
    6. Batchelor, R. A., 1982. "Expectations, output and inflation : The European experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25.
    7. Menil, George & Bhalla, Surjit S, 1975. "Direct Measurement of Popular Price Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(11), pages 169-80, March.
    8. Dickey, David A & Pantula, Sastry G, 1987. "Determining the Ordering of Differencing in Autoregressive Processes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 455-61, October.
    9. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
    10. Cheung, Y. -W. & Chinn, M. D., 1998. "Integration, cointegration and the forecast consistency of structural exchange rate models," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 813-830, October.
    11. Brown, Bryan W & Maital, Shlomo, 1981. "What Do Economists Know? An Empirical Study of Experts' Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(2), pages 491-504, March.
    12. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-38, May.
    13. Fischer, Andreas M, 1989. "Unit Roots and Survey Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 451-63, November.
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