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Heterogeneity and learning in inflation expectation formation: an empirical assessment

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  • Emiliano Santoro
  • Damjan Pfajfar

    ()

Abstract

Relying on Michigan Survey's monthly micro data on inflation expectations we try to determine the main features - in terms of sources and degree of heterogeneity - of inflation expectation formation over different phases of the business cycle. Different learning rules have been applied to the data, in order to test whether agents are learning and whether their expectations are converging towards perfect foresight. Results suggest that behaviour of agents in the right hand side of the distribution is more associated with learning dynamics. Tests for "static" and "dynamic" versions of sticky information are also conducted. Only agents in the middle of the distribution are regularly updating their information sets. Evidence of rational inattention has been found for agents comprised in the upper end of the distribution. We identify three regions of the overall distribution corresponding to different expectation formation processes, which display a heterogeneous response to main macroeconomic indicators : a static or highly autoregressive (LHS) group, a "nearly" rational group (middle), and a group of agents (RHS) behaving in accordance to adaptive learning and sticky information. The latter, generally speaking, are too "pessimistic" as they overreact to macroeconomic fluctuations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0607.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpde:0607

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Keywords: Heterogeneous Expectations; Adaptive Learning; Sticky Information; Survey Expectations;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Evans, George & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-03, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  2. David G. Blanchflower & Conall MacCoille, 2009. "The formation of inflation expectations: an empirical analysis for the UK," NBER Working Papers 15388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Steffen Henzel, 2008. "Learning Trend Inflation – Can Signal Extraction Explain Survey Forecasts?," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 55, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  4. Pfajfar, D. & Santoro, E., 2008. "Asymmetries in Inflation Expectation Formation Across Demographic Groups," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0824, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2011. "Learning as a Rational Foundation for Macroeconomics and Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Mikhail Anufriev & Tiziana Assenza & Cars Hommes & Domenico Massaro, 0000. "Interest Rate Rules and Macroeconomic Stability under Heterogeneous Expectations," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-040/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Anufriev, M. & Assenza, T. & Hommes, C.H. & Massaro, D., 2008. "Interest Rate Rules with Heterogeneous Expectations," CeNDEF Working Papers 08-08, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.

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