IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The role of expectations in U. S. inflation dynamics


  • Jeffrey C. Fuhrer


A growing body of literature examines alternatives to the rational expectations hypothesis in applied macroeconomics. This paper continues this strand of research by examining the role survey expectations play in the inflation process and reports three principal findings. One, short-run inflation expectations appear to play a significant role in explaining U.S. inflation over the past 20–25 years. Two, long-run expectations generally do not appear to have a direct influence on U.S. inflation over the same period, although these longer expectations enter indirectly as a key determinant of the short-run expectations. The restrictions implied by "trend inflation" models of inflation are generally rejected in the data. Three, by employing a "survey operator," this paper develops a first pass at a structural model that incorporates the features discussed above and assesses its performance in explaining inflation in the postwar period.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2011. "The role of expectations in U. S. inflation dynamics," Working Papers 11-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:11-11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Field & Robert Duval Hernandez & Samuel Freije & Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta, 2007. "Intragenerational Income Mobility in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 101-154, January.
    2. Burkhauser, Richard V & Smeeding, Timothy M & Merz, Joachim, 1996. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 381-400, December.
    3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2009. "Using The P90-P10 Index To Measure U.S. Inequality Trends With Current Population Survey Data: A View From Inside The Census Bureau Vaults," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 166-185, March.
    4. Philippe Van Kerm, 2004. "What Lies Behind Income Mobility? Reranking and Distributional Change in Belgium, Western Germany and the USA," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 223-239, May.
    5. Auten, Gerald & Gee, Geoffrey, 2009. "Income Mobility in the United States: New Evidence From Income Tax Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(2), pages 301-328, June.
    6. Maury Gittleman & Mary Joyce, 1999. "Have family income mobility patterns changed?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(3), pages 299-314, August.
    7. Robert Carroll & David Joulfaian & Mark Rider, 2006. "Income Mobility: The Recent American Experience," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0620, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    8. Lynn Karoly & Gary Burtless, 1995. "Demographic change, rising earnings inequality, and the distribution of personal well-being, 1959–1989," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 379-405, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Özer Karagedikli & Dr John McDermott, 2016. "Inflation expectations and low inflation in New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2016/09, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

    More about this item


    Inflation (Finance) ; Rational expectations (Economic theory);

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:11-11. 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: (Catherine Spozio). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.