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Expectations and Monetary Policy: Experimental Evidence


  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov
  • Luba Petersen


The effectiveness of monetary policy depends, to a large extent, on market expectations of its future actions. In a standard New Keynesian business-cycle model with rational expectations, systematic monetary policy reduces the variance of inflation and the output gap by at least two-thirds. These stabilization benefits can be substantially smaller if expectations are non-rational. We design an economic experiment that identifies the contribution of expectations to macroeconomic stabilization achieved by systematic monetary policy. We find that, despite some non-rational component in expectations formed by experiment participants, monetary policy is quite potent in providing stabilization, reducing macroeconomic variance by roughly half.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Luba Petersen, 2013. "Expectations and Monetary Policy: Experimental Evidence," Staff Working Papers 13-44, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pfajfar, D. & Zakelj, B., 2011. "Uncertainty and Disagreement in Forecasting Inflation : Evidence from the Laboratory (Replaced by CentER DP 2012-072)," Discussion Paper 2011-053, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahrens, Steffen & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Tettamanzi, Michele, 2017. "The Stabilizing Role of Forward Guidance: A Macro Experiment," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168063, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. repec:spr:joevec:v:27:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s00191-017-0511-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jasmina Arifovic & Janet Hua Jiang, 2014. "Do Sunspots Matter? Evidence from an Experimental Study of Bank Runs," Staff Working Papers 14-12, Bank of Canada.
    4. Geiger, Martin & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Scharler, Johann, 2016. "When do fiscal consolidations lead to consumption booms? Lessons from a laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-20.
    5. Pfajfar, Damjan & Žakelj, Blaž, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy Design: Evidence from the Laboratory," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Camille Cornand & Cheick Kader M'baye, 2016. "Band or Point Inflation Targeting? An Experimental Approach," Working Papers 1616, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    7. Cars Hommes & Domenico Massaro & Matthias Weber, 2015. "Monetary Policy under Behavioral Expectations: Theory and Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-087/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Guidon Fenig & Mariya Mileva & Luba Petersen, 2013. "Asset Trading and Monetary Policy in Production Economies," Discussion Papers dp13-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, revised Aug 2014.
    9. Luba Petersen & Jasmina Arifovic, 2015. "Escaping Expectations-Driven Liquidity Traps: Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers dp15-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    10. Hommes, C.H. & Massaro, D. & Salle, I., 2015. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Design at the Zero Lower Bound - Evidence from the Lab," CeNDEF Working Papers 15-11, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    11. Simon Richards & Matthieu Verstraete, 2016. "Understanding Firms' Inflation Expectations Using the Bank of Canada's Business Outlook Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 6090, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Cars Hommes & Tomasz Makarewicz & Domenico Massaro & Tom Smits, 2017. "Genetic algorithm learning in a New Keynesian macroeconomic setup," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(5), pages 1133-1155, November.
    13. Simon Richards & Matthieu Verstraete, 2016. "Understanding Firms' Inflation Expectations Using the Bank of Canada's Business Outlook Survey," Staff Working Papers 16-7, Bank of Canada.
    14. Jasmina ARIFOVIC & Murat YILDIZOGLU, 2014. "Learning the Ramsey outcome in a Kydland & Prescott economy," Cahiers du GREThA 2014-06, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

    More about this item


    Business fluctuations and cycles; Monetary policy implementation; Transmission of monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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