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How Does Consumption Respond to News About Inflation? Field Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial

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  • Coibion, Olivier
  • Georgarakos, Dimitris
  • Gorodnichenko, Yuriy
  • van Rooij, Maarten

Abstract

We implement a survey of Dutch households in which random subsets of respondents receive information about inflation. The resulting exogenously generated variation in inflation expectations is used to assess how expectations affect subsequent monthly consumption decisions relative to those in a control group. The causal effects of elevated inflation expectations on non-durable spending are imprecisely estimated but there is a sharp negative effect on durable spending. We provide evidence that this is likely driven by the fact that Dutch households seem to become more pessimistic about their real income as well as aggregate spending when they increase their inflation expectations. There is little evidence to support the idea that the degree to which respondents change their beliefs or their spending in response to information treatments depends on their level of cognitive or financial constraints.
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  • Coibion, Olivier & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & van Rooij, Maarten, 2021. "How Does Consumption Respond to News About Inflation? Field Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt65h294q8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt65h294q8
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2020. "Does Policy Communication During Covid Work?," NBER Working Papers 27384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Coibion, Olivier & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kenny, Geoff & Weber, Michael, 2021. "The effect of macroeconomic uncertainty on household spending," Working Paper Series 2557, European Central Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Stanisławska, Ewa & Paloviita, Maritta, 2021. "Medium- vs. short-term consumer inflation expectations : evidence from a new euro area survey," Research Discussion Papers 10/2021, Bank of Finland.
    5. 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.
    6. Bui, Dzung & Dräger, Lena & Hayo, Bernd & Nghiem, Giang, 2020. "Consumer Sentiment During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Others‘ Beliefs," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-680, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, revised Apr 2021.
    7. Cecion, Martina & Coenen, Günter & Gerke, Rafael & Le Bihan, Hervé & Motto, Roberto & Aguilar, Pablo & Ajevskis, Viktors & Giesen, Sebastian & Albertazzi, Ugo & Gilbert, Niels & Al-Haschimi, Alexander, 2021. "The ECB’s price stability framework: past experience, and current and future challenges," Occasional Paper Series 269, European Central Bank.
    8. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Does Policy Communication during COVID-19 Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 13355, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Candia, Bernardo & Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy, 2021. "The Inflation Expectations of U.S. Firms: Evidence from a New Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 14378, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Mary A. Burke & Ali K. Ozdagli, 2013. "Household inflation expectations and consumer spending: evidence from panel data," Working Papers 13-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    11. Sara Cecchetti & Davide Fantino & Alessandro Notarpietro & Marianna Riggi & Alex Tagliabracci & Andrea Tiseno & Roberta Zizza, 2021. "Inflation expectations in the euro area: indicators, analyses and models used at Banca d’Italia," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 612, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kumar, Saten & Pedemonte, Mathieu, 2020. "Inflation expectations as a policy tool?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    13. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Sergeyev, Dmitriy, 2021. "Zero Lower Bound on Inflation Expectations," IZA Discussion Papers 14853, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Duca-Radu, Ioana & Kenny, Geoff & Reuter, Andreas, 2021. "Inflation expectations, consumption and the lower bound: Micro evidence from a large multi-country survey," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 120-134.
    15. Andreas Dibiasi & Heiner Mikosch & Samad Sarferaz, 2021. "Uncertainty Shocks, Adjustment Costs and Firm Beliefs: Evidence From a Representative Survey," KOF Working papers 21-496, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    16. Lukas Buchheim & Jonas Dovern & Carla Krolage & Sebastian Link & Carla Krolage, 2020. "Firm-Level Expectations and Behavior in Response to the Covid-19 Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 8304, CESifo.
    17. Armantier, Olivier & Koşar, Gizem & Pomerantz, Rachel & Skandalis, Daphné & Smith, Kyle & Topa, Giorgio & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2021. "How economic crises affect inflation beliefs: Evidence from the Covid-19 pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 443-469.
    18. Gabriele Galati & Richhild Moessner & Maarten van Rooij, 2020. "The anchoring of long-term inflation expectations of consumers: insights from a new survey," DNB Working Papers 688, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    19. Bernardo Candia & Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2020. "Communication and the Beliefs of Economic Agents," NBER Working Papers 27800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Dräger, Lena & Bui, Dzung & Nghiem, Giang & Hayo, Bernd, 2021. "Consumer Sentiment During the COVID-19 Pandemic," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242375, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    survey data; inflation expectations; households; durable and non-durable consumption; randomized control 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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