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Individual Expectations and Aggregate Macro Behavior

  • Tiziana Assenza
  • Peter Heemeijer
  • Cars Hommes
  • Domenica Massaro

The way in which individual expectations shape aggregate macroeconomic variables is crucial for the transmission and effectiveness of monetary policy. We study the individual expectations formation process and the interaction with monetary policy, within a standard New Keynesian model, by means of laboratory experiments with human subjects. We find that a more aggressive monetary policy that sets the interest rate more than point for point in response to inflation stabilizes inflation in our experimental economies. We use a simple model of individual learning, with a performance-based evolutionary selection among heterogeneous forecasting heuristics, to explain coordination of individual expectations and aggregate macro behavior observed in the laboratory experiments. Three aggregate outcomes are observed: convergence to some equilibrium level, persistent oscillatory behaviour and oscillatory convergence. A simple heterogeneous expectations switching model fits individual learning as well as aggregate outcomes and outperforms homogeneous expectations benchmarks.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 298.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:298
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Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  2. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2009. "Disagreement and Biases in Inflation Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 365-396, 03.
  4. Adam, Klaus, 2005. "Experimental evidence on the persistence of output and inflation," Working Paper Series 0492, European Central Bank.
  5. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
  6. Christian Merkl, 2008. "Galí J: Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle: An Introduction to the New Keynesian Framework," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 179-181, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Anufriev, M. & Hommes, C.H., 2009. "Evolutionary Selection of Individual Expectations and Aggregate Outcomes," CeNDEF Working Papers 09-09, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  9. Hommes, Cars, 2011. "The heterogeneous expectations hypothesis: Some evidence from the lab," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-24, January.
  10. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Pfajfar, Damjan & Santoro, Emiliano, 2010. "Heterogeneity, learning and information stickiness in inflation expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 426-444, September.
  13. Jordi Galí, 2008. "Introduction to Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle: An Introduction to the New Keynesian Framework
    [Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle: An Introduction to the New Ke
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  14. Cars Hommes & Joep Sonnemans & Jan Tuinstra & Henk van de Velden, 2004. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 119, Netherlands Central Bank.
  15. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
  16. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  18. William A. Branch, 2004. "The Theory of Rationally Heterogeneous Expectations: Evidence from Survey Data on Inflation Expectations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 592-621, 07.
  19. repec:dgr:kubcen:2011091 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Branch, William A. & McGough, Bruce, 2009. "A New Keynesian model with heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1036-1051, May.
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