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Behavioral Heterogeneity in U.S. Inflation Dynamics


  • Cornea, A.

    (Imperial College London)

  • Hommes, C.H.

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Massaro, D.

    () (University of Amsterdam)


In this paper we develop and estimate a behavioral model of inflation dynamics with monopolistic competition, staggered price setting and heterogeneous firms. In our stylized framework there are two groups of price setters, fundamentalists and naive. Fundamentalists are forward-looking in the sense that they believe in a present-value relationship between inflation and real marginal costs, while naive are backward-looking, using the simplest rule of thumb, naive expectations, to forecast future inflation. Agents are allowed to switch between these different forecasting strategies conditional on their recent relative forecasting performance. The estimation results support behavioral heterogeneity and the evolutionary switching mechanism. We show that there is substantial time variation in the weights of forward-looking and backward-looking behavior. Although on average the majority of firms use the simple backward-looking rule, the market has phases in which it is dominated by either the fundamentalists or the naive agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornea, A. & Hommes, C.H. & Massaro, D., 2012. "Behavioral Heterogeneity in U.S. Inflation Dynamics," CeNDEF Working Papers 12-03, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:12-03

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    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes


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