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What Makes a Good Economy? An Analysis of Survey Data

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  • Darren Grant

    ()
    (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)

Abstract

This study analyzes nearly twenty-five years of U.S. survey data to determine the macroeconomic conditions associated with economies the public considers “good.” These surveys are correlated with, but distinct from, other frequently-studied, expectations-oriented indices of consumer sentiment. The primary findings are as follows: 1) inflation and unemployment, the variables in the Phillips curve, explain much of the variation in the survey data; 2) consumers’ implied loss function is nearly linear in these two variables; 3) the public is willing to trade off four percentage points of (increased) inflation for one percentage point of (decreased) unemployment.

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File URL: http://www.shsu.edu/%7Etcq001/paper_files/wp09-09_paper.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business in its series Working Papers with number 0909.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:0909

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  1. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Michael C. & Pao-Lin Tien, 2000. "Economic Discomfort and Consumer Sentiment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, Winter.
  4. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  5. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  6. Heinz Welsch, 2007. "Macroeconomics and life satisfaction: Revisiting the "misery index"," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 237-251, November.
  7. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
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