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Exposure to Daily Price Changes and Inflation Expectations

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco D'Acunto
  • Ulrike M. Malmendier
  • Juan Ospina
  • Michael Weber
  • Michael Weber

Abstract

We show that, to form aggregate inflation expectations, consumers rely on the price changes they face in their daily lives while grocery shopping. Specifically, the frequency and size of price changes, rather than their expenditure share, matter for individuals’ inflation expectations. To document these facts, we collect novel micro data for a representative US sample that uniquely match individual expectations, detailed information about consumption bundles, and item-level prices. Our results suggest that the frequency and size of grocery-price changes to which consumers are personally exposed should be incorporated in models of expectations formation. Central banks' focus on core inflation - which excludes grocery prices - to design expectations-based policies might lead to systematic mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco D'Acunto & Ulrike M. Malmendier & Juan Ospina & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2019. "Exposure to Daily Price Changes and Inflation Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 7798, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7798
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    beliefs formation; rational inattention; realized inflation; transmission of monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • 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
    • E71 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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