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Measuring inflation expectations: a survey data approach

  • Jan Marc Berk
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    Measures of expected inflation from consumer surveys are derived using a modification of the Carlson-Parkin probability approach, which does not assume unbiasedness of expectations, makes use of survey data on expected future as well as perceived past price developments and allows for time varying response thresholds. We apply this method to the normal, central-t and noncentral-t distributions, thereby investigating the effects of nonnormal peakedness and asymmetry. We find that the effects on expected inflation of the former are small and of the latter are substantial, without increasing the accuracy of the expectations, however. Expected and actual inflation show substantial persistence, and, for most of our expectations measures, are cointegrated. Furthermore, the forecast error is stationary, implying weak-form rationality. The co-movement of currently observed expected inflation measures and the unobserved 12-months-ahead inflation rate is of interest for policy makers, for example in the direct inflation targeting strategy. Notwithstanding this, caution is warranted in using them as information variables because the inflation expected by consumers is no causal determinant of actual future inflation.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/000368499323337
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 31 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 1467-1480

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:31:y:1999:i:11:p:1467-1480
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    1. Cheung, Y. -W. & Chinn, M. D., 1998. "Integration, cointegration and the forecast consistency of structural exchange rate models," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 813-830, October.
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    3. Brown, Bryan W & Maital, Shlomo, 1981. "What Do Economists Know? An Empirical Study of Experts' Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(2), pages 491-504, March.
    4. Fischer, Andreas M, 1989. "Unit Roots and Survey Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 451-63, November.
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    6. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-38, May.
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    8. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    9. Batchelor, R. A., 1982. "Expectations, output and inflation : The European experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25.
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