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Forward Guidance and Household Expectations

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  • Coibion, Olivier
  • Georgarakos, Dimitris
  • Gorodnichenko, Yuriy
  • Weber, Michael

Abstract

We compare the causal effects of forward guidance communication about future interest rates on households’ expectations of inflation, mortgage rates, and unemployment to the effects of communication about future inflation in a randomized controlled trial using more than 25,000 U.S. individuals in the Nielsen Homescan panel. We elicit individuals’ expectations and then provide 22 different forms of information regarding past, current and/or future inflation and interest rates. Information treatments about current and next year’s interest rates have a strong effect on household expectations but treatments beyond one year do not have any additional impact on forecasts. Exogenous variation in inflation expectations transmits into other expectations. The richness of our survey allows us to better understand how individuals form expectations about macroeconomic variables jointly and the non-response to long-run forward guidance is consistent with models in which agents have constrained capacity to collect and process information.
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  • Coibion, Olivier & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Forward Guidance and Household Expectations," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt63x5f3w5, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt63x5f3w5
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco D’Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber, 2020. "Managing Households' Expectations with Unconventional Policies," NBER Working Papers 27399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ambrocio, Gene & Juselius, Mikael, 2020. "Dealing with the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic – what are the fiscal options?," BoF Economics Review 2/2020, Bank of Finland.
    3. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Maritta Paloviita & Michael Weber, 2020. "Effective Policy Communication: Targets versus Instruments," Working Papers 2020-148, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. D'Acunto, Francesco & Malmendier, Ulrike M. & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Gender Roles and the Gender Expectations Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 14932, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Christopher Roth & Sonja Settele & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "Risk Exposure and Acquisition of Macroeconomic Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 8634, CESifo.
    6. Hanspal, Tobin & Weber, Annika & Wohlfart, Johannes, 2020. "Exposure to the COVID-19 stock market crash and its effect on household expectations," SAFE Working Paper Series 279, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    7. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher & Wohlfart. Johannes, 2020. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    8. Tobin Hanspal & Annika Weber & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "Exposure to the Covid-19 Stock Market Crash and its Effect on Household Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8244, CESifo.
    9. Conrad, Christian & Enders, Zeno & Glas, Alexander, 2020. "The role of information and experience for households' inflation expectations," Working Papers 20, German Research Foundation's Priority Programme 1859 "Experience and Expectation. Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour", Humboldt University Berlin.
    10. Ehrmann, Michael & Wabitsch, Alena, 2021. "Central bank communication with non-experts: a road to nowhere?," Working Paper Series 2594, European Central Bank.
    11. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Does Policy Communication during COVID-19 Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 13355, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Tobin Hanspal & Annika Weber & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "Exposure to the COVID-19 Stock Market Crash and its Effect on Household Expectations," CEBI working paper series 20-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    13. Beutel, Johannes & Metiu, Norbert & Stockerl, Valentin, 2021. "Toothless tiger with claws? Financial stability communication, expectations, and risk-taking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 53-69.
    14. Ferrando, Annalisa & Popov, Alexander & Udell, Gregory F., 2021. "Unconventional monetary policy, funding expectations, and firm decisions," Working Paper Series 2598, European Central Bank.
    15. Fatemeh Mokhtarzadeh & Luba Petersen, 2021. "Coordinating expectations through central bank projections," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(3), pages 883-918, September.
    16. Jmaes McNeil, 2020. "Monetary policy and the term structure of Inflation expectations with information frictions," Working Papers daleconwp2020-07, Dalhousie University, Department of Economics.
    17. Marco Bottone & Alex Tagliabracci & Giordano Zevi, 2021. "Inflation expectations and the ECB’s perceived inflation objective: novel evidence from firm-level data," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 621, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    expectations management; inflation expectations; surveys; communication; randomized controlled trial;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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