Testing Near-Rationality using Detailed Survey Data
AbstractThis paper considers the evidence of “near-rationality,” as described by Akerlof, Dickens, and Perry (2000). Using detailed surveys of household inflation expectations for the United States and Sweden, we find that the data are generally unsupportive of the near-rationality hypothesis. However, we document that household inflation expectations tend to settle around discrete and largely fixed “focal points,” suggesting that both U.S. and Swedish households gauge inflation prospects in rather broad, qualitative terms. Moreover, the combination of a low-inflation environment and an inflation target in Sweden has been accompanied by a disproportionately high proportion of Swedish households expecting no inflation. However, a similar low-inflation trend in the United States, which does not have an explicit inflation target, reveals no such rise in the proportion of households expecting no inflation. This observation suggests that the way the central bank communicates its inflation objective may influence inflation expectations independently of the inflation trend it actually pursues.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 183.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
inflation expectations; rationality; inflation targeting; Phillips curve;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-MAC-2005-04-16 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MIC-2005-04-16 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lundborg, Per & Sacklén, Hans, 2001. "Is There a Long Run Unemployment-Inflation Trade-off in Sweden?," Working Paper Series 173, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
- Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995.
"Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes,"
Cahiers de recherche
9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
- Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Yash P. Mehra, 2002. "Survey measures of expected inflation : revisiting the issues of predictive content and rationality," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 17-36.
- Jonung, Lars, 1981. "Perceived and Expected Rates of Inflation in Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 961-68, December.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 2001.
"The Epidemiology of Macroeconomic Expectations,"
NBER Working Papers
8695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lundborg, Per & Sacklén, Hans, 2003. "Low-Inflation Targeting and Unemployment Persistence," Working Paper Series 188, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
- Michael F. Bryan & Guhan Venkatu, 2001. "The curiously different inflation perspectives of men and women," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Nov.
- Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-35, September.
- Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
- Figlewski, Stephen & Wachtel, Paul, 1981. "The Formation of Inflationary Expectations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-10, February.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004.
"Disagreement about Inflation Expectations,"
in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 209-270
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo & Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Research Papers 1807, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Augusto Marc Rocha Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm391, Yale School of Management.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 9796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth N Kuttner, 2004. "A Snapshot of Inflation Targeting in its Adolescence," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
- George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lena Löfgren).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.