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

Memories of high inflation

  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Tzamourani, Panagiota

Inflation has been well contained over the last decades in most industrialized countries. This implies, however, that memories of high inflation are likely to fade, because over time larger parts of the population have never experienced high inflation, whereas those who have might forget. This paper tests whether memories of high inflation affect agents’ preferences about the importance attached to price stability, using a large database covering over 52,000 survey responses from 23 countries over the years 1981-2000. It finds that memories of hyperinflation are there to last, whereas those of less drastic inflation experiences tend to erode after around 10 to 15 years. The recent decline in the importance attached to price stability does therefore most likely reflect mitigated inflation concerns in an environment of low and stable inflation, but also the consequences of fading memories of high inflation. The longer central banks have successfully delivered price stability, the more important it is for them to engage in a proactive communication, especially with the younger generations, about the merits of low and stable inflation. JEL Classification: D10, E31, E52

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 European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1095.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091095
Contact details of provider: Postal: 60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
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. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Pasini, Giacomo, 2009. "Trust, sociability and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/29, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 10, December.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "What Measure of Inflation Should a Central Bank Target?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1058-1086, 09.
  4. Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000974, David K. Levine.
  5. Michael F. Bryan & Guhan Venkatu, 2001. "The demographics of inflation opinion surveys," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Oct.
  6. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-45, December.
  7. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
  8. Etienne Farvaque & Alexander Mihailov, 2008. "Intergenerational Transmission of Inflation Aversion: Theory and Evidence," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2008-71, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  9. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 6944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
  11. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kuzin, Vladimir, 2006. "The inflation aversion of the Bundesbank: A state space approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1671-1686.
  13. Robert J. Shiller, 1996. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1115, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Well-Being," Research Papers 1751r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  15. Stephen Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2000. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output volatility? An International Comparison of Policy Maker's Preferences and Outcomes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 69, Central Bank of Chile.
  16. Hayo, Bernd, 1998. "Inflation culture, central bank independence and price stability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 241-263, May.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," NBER Working Papers 8198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2010. "Formal institutions and subjective well-being: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 419-430, December.
  19. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
  20. Céline Christensen & Peter Els & Maarten Rooij, 2006. "Dutch Households’ Perceptions of Economic Growth and Inflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 277-294, June.
  21. Jen, Min Hua & Jones, Kelvyn & Johnston, Ron, 2009. "Global variations in health: Evaluating Wilkinson's income inequality hypothesis using the World Values Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 643-653, February.
  22. Eduardo Ley, 2005. "Whose inflation? A characterization of the CPI plutocratic gap," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 634-646, October.
  23. D. McFadden & J. Hausman, 1981. "Specification Tests for the Multinominal Logit Model," Working papers 292, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  24. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Growing Up in a Recession: Beliefs and the Macroeconomy," IZA Discussion Papers 4365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  26. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Tapia, Matias, 2002. "Inflation targeting in Chile," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 125-146, August.
  27. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-78, May.
  28. van Lelyveld, Iman, 1999. "Inflation or unemployment? Who cares?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 463-484, September.
  29. Otmar Issing, 2005. "Why did the Great Inflation not happen in Germany?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 329-336.
  30. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "Is Unemployment More Costly Than Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 13505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Frank M. FISHER, 2005. "Price Index Aggregation: Plutocratic Weights, Democratic Weights, and Value Judgments," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 79-80, pages 749-757.
  32. Scheve, Kenneth, 2004. "Public Inflation Aversion and the Political Economy of Macroeconomic Policymaking," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 1-34, February.
  33. Small, Kenneth A & Hsiao, Cheng, 1985. "Multinomial Logit Specification Tests," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 619-27, October.
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:ecb:ecbwps:20091095. 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: (Official Publications)

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.