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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. 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.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 9796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruce Preston, 2003. "Learning about monetary policy rules when long-horizon expectations matter," Working Paper 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. repec:dgr:kubcen:2011091 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. 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.
  8. Cars Hommes & Joep Sonnemans & Jan Tuinstra & Henk van de Velden, 2005. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 955-980.
  9. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  11. Adam, Klaus, 2005. "Experimental evidence on the persistence of output and inflation," Working Paper Series 0492, European Central Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Brock, W.A. & Hommes, C.H., 1996. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Working papers 9530r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Jordi Galí, 2008. "Introduction to Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle: An Introduction to the New Keynesian Framework
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    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  15. James Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  16. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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