The Euro Through the Looking-Glass: Perceived Inflation Following the 2002 Currency Changeover
Following the Euro changeover in January 2002, consumers across the Euro Area perceived a sharp rise in inflation, in contrast to official figures. Several theories have been advanced to explain this apparent economic illusion, but they struggle to account for its striking scale and persistence. We offer an alternative account, based on the premise that the currency changeover increased consumers' perceptual error when assessing the value of monetary amounts. Under plausible assumptions, this would lead them to experience a loss of purchasing power. We confirm two empirical hypotheses in support of the theory: (1) the extent of overestimation of inflation was strongly associated with subjective difficulty using the Euro; (2) there was a simultaneous downward shift in expected inflation. Our results imply that currency changeovers are not simple matters of numerical conversion.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2|
Phone: (353-1) 863 2000
Fax: (353-1) 863 2100
Web page: http://www.esri.ie
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Eva Hofmann & Erich Kirchler & Bernadette Kamleitner, 2007. "Consumer Adaptation Strategies: From Austrian Shilling to the Euro," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 367-381, December.
- Paolo Del Giovane & Roberto Sabbatini, 2006. "Perceived and Measured Inflation after the Launch of the Euro: Explaining the Gap in Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 65(2), pages 155-192, November.
- Rob Ranyard, 2007. "Euro Stories: The Irish Experience of Currency Change," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 313-322, December.
- Duffy, David & Lunn, Pete, 2008.
"The Misperception of Inflation by Irish Consumers,"
WP261, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Wioletta Dziuda & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2009.
"The Euro Changeover and Its Effects on Price Transparency and Inflation,"
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 101-129, 02.
- Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Wioletta Dziuda, 2005. "The Euro Changeover and its Effects on Price Transparency and Inflation," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 26, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
- Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 2002. "A Review of WTA/WTP Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 426-447, November.
- Vincenzo Cestari & Paolo Del Giovane & Clelia Rossi-Arnaud, 2007. "Memory for prices and the euro cash changeover: An analysis for cinema prices in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 619, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Lein, 2010. "The Euro Cash Changeover, Inflation Perceptions and the Media," KOF Working papers 10-254, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Eva Traut-Mattausch & Tobias Greitemeyer & Dieter Frey & Stefan Schulz-Hardt, 2007. "Illusory Price Increases after the Euro Changeover in Germany: An Expectancy-Consistent Bias," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 421-434, December.
- Greitemeyer, Tobias & Schulz-Hardt, Stefan & Traut-Mattausch, Eva & Frey, Dieter, 2005. "The influence of price trend expectations on price trend perceptions: Why the Euro seems to make life more expensive?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 541-548, August.
- Thomas A. Eife & Stephan Meier, 2007. "Costly Inflation Misperceptions," Working Papers 0455, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2007.
- Ranyard, Rob & Missier, Fabio Del & Bonini, Nicolao & Duxbury, Darren & Summers, Barbara, 2008. "Perceptions and expectations of price changes and inflation: A review and conceptual framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 378-400, August.
- Manfred Fluch & Helmut Stix, 2007. "The Development of Euro Prices – Subjective Perception and Empirical Facts," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 55-84.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Stix, Helmut, 2009. "Perceived inflation and the euro: Evidence from an Austrian survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 547-561, December.
- Antonides, Gerrit, 2008. "How is perceived inflation related to actual price changes in the European Union?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 417-432, August.
- Lunn, Pete & Lunn, Mary, 2009. "A Computational Theory of Exchange: Willingness to pay, willingness to accept and the endowment effect," Papers WP327, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Lena Vogel & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, 2009. "Prospect Theory and Inflation Perceptions - An Empirical Assessment," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200903, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
- Jonung, Lars, 1981. "Perceived and Expected Rates of Inflation in Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 961-968, December.
- John A. Carlson, 1977. "A Study of Price Forecasts," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 6, number 1, pages 27-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ehrmann, Michael, 2006. "Rational inattention, inflation developments and perceptions after the euro cash changeover," Working Paper Series 0588, European Central Bank.
- Gamble, Amelie, 2006. "Euro illusion or the reverse? Effects of currency and income on evaluations of prices of consumer products," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 531-542, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp338. 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: (Sarah Burns)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.