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Growth Expectations, Undue Optimism, and Short-Run Fluctuations

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  • Zeno Enders
  • Michael Kleemann
  • Gernot Müller

Abstract

We assess whether “undue optimism” (Pigou) contributes to business cycle fluctuations. In our analysis, optimism (or pessimism) pertains to total factor productivity, which determines economic activity in the long run. Optimism shocks are perceived changes in productivity that do not actually materialize. We develop a new strategy to identify optimism shocks in a VAR model. It is based on nowcast errors regarding current output growth, that is, the difference between actual growth and the real-time prediction of professional forecasters. We find that optimism shocks – in line with theory - generate a negative nowcast error, but simultaneously a positive short-run output response.

Suggested Citation

  • Zeno Enders & Michael Kleemann & Gernot Müller, 2013. "Growth Expectations, Undue Optimism, and Short-Run Fluctuations," CESifo Working Paper Series 4548, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4548
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    Cited by:

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    2. Sebastian Link & Andreas Peichl & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2021. "Information Frictions among Firms and Households," CEBI working paper series 21-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    3. Alexandra Born & Zeno Enders, 2019. "Global Banking, Trade, and the International Transmission of the Great Recession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(623), pages 2691-2721.
    4. Dées, Stephane & Zimic, Srečko, 2019. "Animal spirits, fundamental factors and business cycle fluctuations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-1.
    5. Riccardo M. Masolo & Alessia Paccagnini, 2019. "Identifying Noise Shocks: A VAR with Data Revisions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(8), pages 2145-2172, December.
    6. Laura Nowzohour & Livio Stracca, 2020. "More Than A Feeling: Confidence, Uncertainty, And Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 691-726, September.
    7. Kenza Benhima & Céline Poilly, 2017. "Do Misperceptions about Demand Matter? Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 17.08, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    8. Ricco, Giovanni, 2015. "A new identification of fiscal shocks based on the information flow," Working Paper Series 1813, European Central Bank.
    9. Zeno Enders & Franziska Hünnekes & Gernot Müller, 2019. "Firm expectations and economic activity," CESifo Working Paper Series 7623, CESifo.
    10. Christoph Görtz & Mallory Yeromonahos, 2019. "Asymmetries in Risk Premia, Macroeconomic Uncertainty and Business Cycles," CESifo Working Paper Series 7959, CESifo.
    11. Paul Beaudry & Tim Willems, 2018. "On the Macroeconomic Consequences of Over-Optimism," NBER Working Papers 24685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Benhima, Kenza & Poilly, Céline, 2021. "Does demand noise matter? Identification and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 278-295.
    13. Minwook Kang & Lei Sandy Ye, 2021. "Can Optimism be a Remedy for Present Bias?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 53(1), pages 201-231, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    undue optimism; optimism shocks; noise shocks; animal spirits; business cycles; nowcast errors; VAR;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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