IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts

  • Olivier Coibion


    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko


    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

We propose a new approach to test of the null of full-information rational expectations which is informative about whether rejections of the null reflect departures from rationality or full-information. This approach can also quantify the economic significance of departures from the null by mapping them into the underlying degree of information rigidity faced by economic agents. Applying this approach to both U.S. and cross-country data of professional forecasters and other economic agents yields pervasive evidence of informational rigidities that can be explained by models of imperfect information. Furthermore, the proposed approach sheds new light on the implications of policies such as inflation-targeting and those leading to the Great Moderation on expectations. Finally, we document evidence of state-dependence in the expectations formation process. implications.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 102.

in new window

Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 08 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:102
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
Phone: (757) 221-4311
Fax: (757) 221-2390
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Adam, Klaus & Padula, Mario, 2003. "Inflation dynamics and subjective expectations in the United States," Working Paper Series 0222, European Central Bank.
  2. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  3. David Andolfatto & Scott Hendry & Kevin Moran, 2007. "Are Inflation Expectations Rational?," Working Paper Series 27-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  4. Bacchetta, Philippe & Mertens, Elmar & van Wincoop, Eric, 2009. "Predictability in financial markets: What do survey expectations tell us?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 406-426, April.
  5. Andrew T. Levin & Fabio M. Natalucci & Jeremy M. Piger, 2004. "The macroeconomic effects of inflation targeting," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 51-80.
  6. Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2008. "Forecast Combination With Entry and Exit of Experts," CREATES Research Papers 2008-55, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  7. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  9. Patton, Andrew J. & Timmermann, Allan, 2010. "Why do forecasters disagree? Lessons from the term structure of cross-sectional dispersion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 803-820, October.
  10. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2009. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," 2009 Meeting Papers 21, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. John M. Roberts, 1998. "Inflation expectations and the transmission of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2009. "Disagreement among Forecasters in G7 Countries," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200906, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  13. Andrade, P. & Le Bihan, H., 2010. "Inattentive professional forecasters," Working papers 307, Banque de France.
  14. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Ball, Laurence & Gregory Mankiw, N. & Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Monetary policy for inattentive economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 703-725, May.
  16. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert & Min Wei, 2005. "Do Macro Variables, Asset Markets or Surveys Forecast Inflation Better?," NBER Working Papers 11538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Andrew T. Levin & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Does inflation targeting anchor long-run inflation expectations? evidence from long-term bond yields in the U.S., U.K., and Sweden," Working Paper Series 2006-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  18. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2008. "Ambiguity, Information Quality, and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 197-228, 02.
  19. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  20. Bernard Laurens & Martin Sommer & Marco Arnone & Jean-François Segalotto, 2007. "Central Bank Autonomy: Lessons from Global Trends," IMF Working Papers 07/88, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Working Papers 12354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Tornell, Aaron, 2004. "Exchange rate puzzles and distorted beliefs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 303-333, December.
  23. Cosmin Ilut, 2009. "Ambiguity Aversion: Implications For The Uncovered Interest Rate Parity Puzzle," 2009 Meeting Papers 328, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us About Informational Rigidities?," NBER Working Papers 14586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Michael Kiley, 2005. "A Quantitative Comparison Of Sticky-Price And Sticky-Information Models Of Price Setting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  26. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Endogenous information, menu costs and inflation persistence," NBER Working Papers 14184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Christopher W. Crowe, 2010. "Consensus Forecasts and Inefficient Information Aggregation," IMF Working Papers 10/178, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  29. Carlos Capistrán & Manuel Ramos-Francia, 2010. "Does Inflation Targeting Affect the Dispersion of Inflation Expectations?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(1), pages 113-134, 02.
  30. Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2003. "Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 17-31.
  31. Ricardo Reis, 2009. "Optimal Monetary Policy Rules in an Estimated Sticky-Information Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-28, July.
  32. Olivier Coibion, 2010. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 87-101, February.
  33. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  35. Lloyd B. Thomas, 1999. "Survey Measures of Expected U.S. Inflation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 125-144, Fall.
  36. Roberts, John M., 1997. "Is inflation sticky?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-196, July.
  37. Hashmat Khan & Zhenhua Zhu, 2002. "Estimates of the Sticky-Information Phillips Curve for the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom," Staff Working Papers 02-19, Bank of Canada.
  38. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," NBER Working Papers 14048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Khan, Hashmat & Zhu, Zhenhua, 2006. "Estimates of the Sticky-Information Phillips Curve for the United States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 195-207, February.
  40. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Dean Croushore, 2006. "An evaluation of inflation forecasts from surveys using real-time data," Working Papers 06-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  42. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  43. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:1:p:269-298 is not listed on IDEAS
  44. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  45. Joseph G. Haubrich & George Pennacchi & Peter H. Ritchken, 2008. "Estimating real and nominal term structures using Treasury yields, inflation, inflation forecasts, and inflation swap rates," Working Paper 0810, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  46. Branch, William A., 2007. "Sticky information and model uncertainty in survey data on inflation expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 245-276, January.
  47. Christopher D Carroll, 2002. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," Economics Working Paper Archive 477, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Daifeng He)

or (Alfredo Pereira)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.