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Inflation Experience and Inflation Expectations: Dispersion and Disagreement Within Demographic Groups

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Abstract

Using consumption data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, I document persistent differences across demographic groups in the dispersion of household-specific rates of inflation. Using survey data on inflation expectations, I show that demographic groups with greater dispersion in experienced inflation also disagree more about future inflation. I argue that these results can be rationalized from the perspective of an imperfect information model in which idiosyncratic inflation experience serves as a signal about aggregate inflation. These empirical regularities pose a challenge to several other popular models of the expectations formation process of households.

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  • Johannsen, Benjamin K., 2014. "Inflation Experience and Inflation Expectations: Dispersion and Disagreement Within Demographic Groups," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-89, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2014-89
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    1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us about Information Rigidities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 116-159.
    2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 209-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Wändi Bruine De Bruin & Charles F. Manski & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2011. "Measuring consumer uncertainty about future inflation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 454-478, April.
    5. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2644-2678, August.
    6. Meyer, Brent & Venkatu, Guhan, 2011. "Demographic differences in inflation expectations: what do they really mean?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue May.
    7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, February.
    8. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298.
    9. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    10. Branch, William A., 2007. "Sticky information and model uncertainty in survey data on inflation expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 245-276, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaplan, Greg & Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam, 2017. "Inflation at the household level," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 19-38.
    2. Jess Diamond & Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2016. "The Formation of Consumer Inflation Expectations:Evidence From Japan's Deflation Experience," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 067, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Li, Shaoyu & Wei, Lijia & Xu, Zhiwei, 2017. "Dynamic asset allocation and consumption under inflation inequality: The impacts of inflation experiences and expectations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 113-125.
    4. Jess Diamond & Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2016. "The Formation of Consumer Inflation Expectations: New Evidence From Japan's Deflation Experience," CARF F-Series CARF-F-388, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.

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    Keywords

    Inflation; expectations; inflation experience;

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