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Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? Household Expectations of Inflation Based on Micro Consumption Data

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  • ATSUSHI INOUE
  • LUTZ KILIAN
  • FATMA BURCU KIRAZ

Abstract

Survey data on household expectations of inflation are routinely used in economic analysis, yet it is not clear how accurately households are able to articulate their expectations in survey interviews. We propose an alternative approach to recovering households' expectations of inflation from their consumption expenditures. We show that these expectations measures have predictive power for consumer price index (CPI) inflation. They are better predictors of CPI inflation than household survey responses and more highly correlated with professional inflation forecasts, except for highly educated consumers, consistent with the view that more educated consumers are better able to articulate their expectations. We also document that households' inflation expectations respond to inflation news, as measured by the unpredictable component of inflation predictions in the Survey of Professional Forecasters. The response to inflation news tends to increase with households' level of education, consistent with the existence of constraints on household's ability to process this information. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

Suggested Citation

  • Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian & Fatma Burcu Kiraz, 2009. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? Household Expectations of Inflation Based on Micro Consumption Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(7), pages 1331-1363, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:7:p:1331-1363
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael J. Lamla & Sarah Lein, 2010. "The Euro Cash Changeover, Inflation Perceptions and the Media," KOF Working papers 10-254, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Emily Anderson & Atsushi Inoue & Barbara Rossi, 2016. "Heterogeneous Consumers and Fiscal Policy Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(8), pages 1877-1888, December.
    3. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2010. "Imperfect Information and Aggregate Supply," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 5, pages 183-229 Elsevier.
    4. Yasutomo Murasawa, 2013. "Measuring Inflation Expectations Using Interval-Coded Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(4), pages 602-623, August.
    5. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Do Expectations Matter? The Great Moderation Revisited," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 183-205, July.
    6. Carrera Cesar, 2012. "Estimating Information Rigidity Using Firms' Survey Data," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-34, June.
    7. Olivier Armantier & Wändi Bruine de Bruin & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert Klaauw & Basit Zafar, 2015. "Inflation Expectations And Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act On Their Beliefs?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 505-536, May.
    8. Menz, Jan-Oliver & Poppitz, Philipp, 2013. "Household`s Disagreement on Inflation Expectations and Socioeconomic Media Exposure in Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80006, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2013. "Forecasting Inflation," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    10. Lutz Kilian, 2013. "Structural vector autoregressions," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Macroeconomics, chapter 22, pages 515-554 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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