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Why do monetary policies matter? An experimental study of saving and inflation in an overlapping generations model

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  • Bernasconi, Michele
  • Kirchkamp, Oliver

Abstract

We study experiments of an overlapping generations model where inflation is determined by the monetary policy and by the amount of average saving within each period. We use a new experimental setup that allows us to observe more details of the process of expectation forming and separate this process from the actual saving process. In contrast to experimental findings by Lim, Prescott, Sunder; Marimon, Spear, Sunder; and Marimon, Sunder we find that (1) agents do not form first-order adaptive expectations; (2) subjects ‘over-save’ for precautionary reasons; as a result (3) the so-called Friedman conjecture holds, i.e. monetary policies which are equivalent in static equilibrium exhibit different levels and different volatility of inflation in the experiment. This may generate important policy trade-offs between monetary regimes. We discuss our findings and relate them to current research on adaptive learning and the role it may have in ranking alternative monetary policies.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bernasconi, Michele & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2000. "Why do monetary policies matter? An experimental study of saving and inflation in an overlapping generations model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 315-343, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:46:y:2000:i:2:p:315-343
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    1. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1994. "Expectations and Learning under Alternative Monetary Regimes: An Experimental Approach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(1), pages 131-162, January.
    2. Honkapohja, Seppo, 1995. "Bounded rationality in macroeconomics A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 509-518, June.
    3. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
    4. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Indeterminacy of Equilibria in a Hyperinflationary World: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1073-1107, September.
    5. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1995. "Does a constant money growth rule help stabilize inflation?: experimental evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 111-156, December.
    6. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-550, May.
    7. Evans, Martin, 1991. "Discovering the Link between Inflation Rates and Inflation Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 169-184, May.
    8. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Marimon, Ramon, 2001. "Convergence In Monetary Inflation Models With Heterogeneous Learning Rules," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 1-31, February.
    9. Michael Bruno & Stanley Fischer, 1990. "Seigniorage, Operating Rules, and the High Inflation Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 353-374.
    10. Marimon Ramon & Spear Stephen E. & Sunder Shyam, 1993. "Expectationally Driven Market Volatility: An Experimental Study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 74-103, October.
    11. Lim, Suk S & Prescott, Edward C & Sunder, Shyam, 1994. "Stationary Solution to the Overlapping Generations Model of Fiat Money: Experimental Evidence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 255-277.
    12. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-472, June.
    13. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1999. "Learning dynamics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 449-542 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Scharler, Johann, 2013. "Monetary Policy, Inflation Illusion and the Taylor Principle – An Experimental Study," Ruhr Economic Papers 402, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Gerunov, Anton, 2014. "Критичен Преглед На Основните Подходи За Моделиране На Икономическите Очаквания
      [A Critical Review of Major Approaches for Modeling Economic Expectations]
      ," MPRA Paper 68797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bernasconi, Michele & Kirchkamp, Oliver & Paruolo, Paolo, 2009. "Do fiscal variables affect fiscal expectations? Experiments with real world and lab data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 253-265, May.
    4. repec:pit:wpaper:334 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0402 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Roos, Michael W. M. & Luhan, Wolfgang J., 2008. "As if or What? – Expectations and Optimization in a Simple Macroeconomic Environment," Ruhr Economic Papers 55, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Michael W. M. Roos & Wolfgang J. Luhan, 2013. "Information, Learning and Expectations in an Experimental Model Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 513-531, July.
    8. Pfajfar, Damjan & Žakelj, Blaž, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy Design: Evidence from the Laboratory," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Pfajfar, Damjan & Žakelj, Blaž, 2014. "Experimental evidence on inflation expectation formation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 147-168.
    10. Pfajfar, D. & Zakelj, B., 2011. "Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy Design : Evidence from the Laboratory (Replaces CentER DP 2009-007)," Discussion Paper 2011-091, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Bertocco Giancarlo & Fanelli Luca & Paruolo Paolo, 2002. "On the determinants of inflation in Italy: evidence of cost-push effects before the European Monetary Union," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf0223, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
    12. Cars Hommes & Domenico Massaro & Matthias Weber, 2015. "Monetary Policy under Behavioral Expectations: Theory and Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-087/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. Michael W.M. Roos & Wolfgang J. Luhan, 2008. "As if or What? – Expectations and Optimization in a Simple Macroeconomic Environment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0055, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Riedl, Arno & van Winden, Frans, 2012. "Input versus output taxation in an experimental international economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 216-232.
    15. repec:zbw:rwirep:0055 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bernasconi, Michele & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2002. "The Expectations view on fiscal policy - An experiment using real world data," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-18, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    17. Wolfgang J. Luhan & Johann Scharler, 2013. "Monetary Policy, Inflation Illusion and the Taylor Principle – An Experimental Study," Ruhr Economic Papers 0402, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    18. Anbarci, Nejat & Dutu, Richard & Feltovich, Nick, 2015. "Inflation tax in the lab: a theoretical and experimental study of competitive search equilibrium with inflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 17-33.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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