IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/poleco/v28y2012i2p174-191.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Memories of high inflation

Author

Listed:
  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Tzamourani, Panagiota

Abstract

Inflation has been well contained over the last decades in most industrialized countries. This implies, however, that memories of high inflation are likely to fade, because over time larger parts of the population have never experienced high inflation, whereas those who have might forget. This paper tests whether memories of high inflation affect agents' preferences about the importance attached to price stability, using a large database covering over 50,000 survey responses from 23 countries over the years 1981–2000. It finds that memories of hyperinflation are there to last, whereas those of less drastic inflation experiences tend to erode after around 10years. The recent decline in the importance attached to price stability does therefore most likely reflect mitigated inflation concerns in an environment of low and stable inflation, but also the consequences of fading memories of high inflation. The longer central banks have successfully delivered price stability, the more important it is for them to engage in a pro-active communication, especially with the younger generations, about the merits of low and stable inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrmann, Michael & Tzamourani, Panagiota, 2012. "Memories of high inflation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 174-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:2:p:174-191
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2011.11.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268011001479
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    2. Small, Kenneth A & Hsiao, Cheng, 1985. "Multinomial Logit Specification Tests," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 619-627, October.
    3. S. J. Prais, 1959. "Whose Cost of Living?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 126-134.
    4. Eduardo Ley, 2005. "Whose inflation? A characterization of the CPI plutocratic gap," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 634-646, October.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "What Measure of Inflation Should a Central Bank Target?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1058-1086, September.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    7. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2010. "Formal institutions and subjective well-being: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 419-430, December.
    8. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 13-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, June.
    10. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-398, September.
    11. Scheve, Kenneth, 2004. "Public Inflation Aversion and the Political Economy of Macroeconomic Policymaking," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 1-34, February.
    12. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
    13. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Well-Being," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    14. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
    15. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
    16. Etienne Farvaque & Alexander Mihailov, 2008. "Intergenerational Transmission of Inflation Aversion: Theory and Evidence," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2008-71, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    17. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
    18. Hausman, Jerry & McFadden, Daniel, 1984. "Specification Tests for the Multinomial Logit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1219-1240, September.
    19. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, March.
    20. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-178, May.
    21. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "Is Unemployment More Costly Than Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 13505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Simon Cheng & J. Scott Long, 2007. "Testing for IIA in the Multinomial Logit Model," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 35(4), pages 583-600, May.
    23. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    24. repec:adr:anecst:y:2005:i:79-80:p:28 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Dimitris Georgarakos & Giacomo Pasini, 2011. "Trust, Sociability, and Stock Market Participation," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 15(4), pages 693-725.
    26. Hayo, Bernd, 1998. "Inflation culture, central bank independence and price stability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 241-263, May.
    27. Otmar Issing, 2005. "Why did the Great Inflation not happen in Germany?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 329-336.
    28. Céline Christensen & Peter Els & Maarten Rooij, 2006. "Dutch Households’ Perceptions of Economic Growth and Inflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 277-294, June.
    29. Jen, Min Hua & Jones, Kelvyn & Johnston, Ron, 2009. "Global variations in health: Evaluating Wilkinson's income inequality hypothesis using the World Values Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 643-653, February.
    30. van Lelyveld, Iman, 1999. "Inflation or unemployment? Who cares?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 463-484, September.
    31. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Growing Up in a Recession: Beliefs and the Macroeconomy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    32. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Tapia, Matias, 2002. "Inflation targeting in Chile," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 125-146, August.
    33. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    34. Michael F. Bryan & Guhan Venkatu, 2001. "The demographics of inflation opinion surveys," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Oct.
    35. Kuzin, Vladimir, 2006. "The inflation aversion of the Bundesbank: A state space approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1671-1686.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hayo, Bernd & Neuenkirch, Edith, 2014. "The German public and its trust in the ECB: The role of knowledge and information search," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 286-303.
    2. Adriel Jost, 2018. "Cultural Differences in Monetary Policy Preferences," Working Papers 2018-02, Swiss National Bank.
    3. Etienne Farvaque & Muhammad Azmat Hayat & Alexander Mihailov, 2017. "Who Supports the ECB? Evidence from Eurobarometer Survey Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 654-677, April.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1813-1832 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Searing, Elizabeth A.M., 2013. "Love thy neighbor? Recessions and interpersonal trust in Latin America," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 68-79.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0402 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michael Berlemann & Sören Enkelmann, 2013. "Die „German Angst“ – Inflationsaversion in Ost- und Westdeutschland," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 20(02), pages 03-09, April.
    9. Hayat, Muhammad Azmat & Farvaque, Etienne, 2012. "Public attitudes towards central bank independence: Lessons from the foundation of the ECB," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 512-523.
    10. Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Scharler, Johann, 2014. "Inflation illusion and the Taylor principle: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 94-110.
    11. Lena Dräger & Ulrich Fritsche, 2013. "Don't Worry, Be Right! Survey Wording Effects on In flation Perceptions and Expectations," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201308, University of Hamburg, Department of Socioeconomics.
    12. Bernd Hayo, 2014. "Granville, Brigitte: Remembering inflation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 97-100, September.
    13. Carin van der Cruijsen & David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2015. "How Much Does the Public Know about the ECB’s Monetary Policy? Evidence from a Survey of Dutch Households," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 169-218, December.
    14. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    15. Berlemann, Michael, 2014. "Inflation aversion in transition countries: Empirical evidence from the Baltic States," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 415-432.
    16. Lena Dräger & Michael Lamla, 2018. "Is the Anchoring of Consumers' Inflation Expectations Shaped by Inflational Experience?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7042, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Otmar Issing, 2010. "The development of monetary policy in the 20th century – some reflections," Working Paper Research 186, National Bank of Belgium.
    18. de Mello, João M.P. & Waisman, Caio & Zilberman, Eduardo, 2014. "The effects of exposure to hyperinflation on occupational choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 109-123.
    19. Ampudia, Miguel & Ehrmann, Michael, 2017. "Macroeconomic experiences and risk taking of euro area households," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 146-156.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation aversion; Inflation memories; Hyperinflation; World Values Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:2:p:174-191. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.