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Public Information and Inflation Expectations: Microeconometric Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Paul E. Carrillo

    (George Washington University)

  • M. Shahe Emran

    (Columbia University)

Abstract

Governments provide public information to reduce information imperfections. Do households rely on public signals to inform themselves about market conditions? To identify the importance of public information in households' price expectations, we take advantage of a unique natural experiment in Ecuador where the published inflation rate had been different from the correct rate over a period of fourteen months due to a software error. We find that the public signal about prices plays an important role in households' price expectations, and the change in price expectations affects their savings choices. The effect is stronger for better-educated and older people. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul E. Carrillo & M. Shahe Emran, 2012. "Public Information and Inflation Expectations: Microeconometric Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 860-877, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:4:p:860-877
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2014. "Inflation Expectations, Learning and Supermarket Prices," NBER Working Papers 20576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2016. "Learning from Potentially Biased Statistics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 52(1 (Spring), pages 59-108.
    3. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Inflation Expectations, Learning, and Supermarket Prices: Evidence from Survey Experiments," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 1-35, July.
    4. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2016. "Learning from Potentially-Biased Statistics: Household Inflation Perceptions and Expectations in Argentina," NBER Working Papers 22103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2016. "Learning from Potentially Biased Statistics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(1 (Spring), pages 59-108.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public information; price expectations; developing countries; natural experiment; heterogeneity; Ecuador;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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