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Robustness of Adaptive Expectations as an Equilibrium Selection Device


  • Lettau, Martin
  • Van Zandt, Timothy


Dynamic models in which agents' behaviour depends on expectations of future prices or other endogenous variables can have steady states that are stationary equilibria for a wide variety of expectations rules, including rational expectations. When there are multiple steady states, stability is a criterion for selecting predictions of long-run outcomes among them. The purpose of this Paper is to study how sensitive stability is to certain details of the expectations rules, in a simple OLG model with constant government debt that is financed through seigniorage. We compare simple recursive learning rules, learning rules with vanishing gain, and OLS learning, and also relate these to expectational stability. One finding is that two adaptive expectation rules that differ only in whether they use current information can have opposite stability properties.

Suggested Citation

  • Lettau, Martin & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2001. "Robustness of Adaptive Expectations as an Equilibrium Selection Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 2882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2882

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bullard James, 1994. "Learning Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 468-485, December.
    2. Evans, George W., 1989. "The fragility of sunspots and bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 297-317, March.
    3. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Indeterminacy of Equilibria in a Hyperinflationary World: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1073-1107, September.
    4. Evans, Jean Lynne & Yarrow, George Keith, 1981. "Some Implications of Alternative Expectations Hypotheses in the Monetary Analysis of Hyperinflations," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 61-80, March.
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    6. George Evans, 1985. "Expectational Stability and the Multiple Equilibria Problem in Linear Rational Expectations Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1217-1233.
    7. Duffy John, 1994. "On Learning and the Nonuniqueness of Equilibrium in an Overlapping Generations Model with Fiat Money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 541-553, December.
    8. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2000. "Convergence for difference equations with vanishing time-dependence, with applications to adaptive learning," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(3), pages 717-725.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tuinstra, Jan, 2003. "Beliefs equilibria in an overlapping generations model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 145-164, February.
    2. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime, 2001. "On learning to forecast in an endogenous growth model with externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1139-1156, August.
    3. Baranowski, Ryan, 2015. "Adaptive learning and monetary exchange," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-18.
    4. Oscar J. Arce, 2006. "Speculative Hyperinflations: When Can We Rule Them Out?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 376, Society for Computational Economics.
    5. Klaus Adam & George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapoja, 2003. "Are Stationary Hyperinflation Paths Learnable?," CESifo Working Paper Series 936, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Cellarier, Laurent L., 2013. "A family production overlapping generations economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 2168-2179.
    7. Shurojit Chatterji & Ignacio N. Lobato, 2010. "Transformations of the state variable and learning dynamics," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(4), pages 385-403.
    8. Barucci, Emilio, 2001. "Fading memory learning in a class of forward-looking models with an application to hyperinflation dynamics," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 233-252, April.
    9. Driskill, Robert, 2006. "Multiple equilibria in dynamic rational expectations models: A critical review," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 171-210, January.
    10. Klaus Adam, 2003. "Learning and Equilibrium Selection in a Monetary Overlapping Generations Model with Sticky Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 887-907.
    11. Klaus Adam, 2001. "Learning and Equilibrium Selection in a Monetary Overlapping Generations Model with Sticky," CSEF Working Papers 69, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    12. Adam, Klaus & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2006. "Are hyperinflation paths learnable?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2725-2748, December.

    More about this item


    adaptive expectations; inflation; stability;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation


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