IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedgfe/2018-62.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Expectations in Changed Inflation Dynamics

Author

Listed:
  • Damjan Pfajfar
  • John M. Roberts

Abstract

The Phillips curve has been much flatter in the past twenty years than in the preceding decades. We consider two hypotheses. One is that prices at the microeconomic level are stickier than they used to be---in the context of the canonical Calvo model, firms are adjusting prices less often. The other is that the expectations of firms and households about future inflation are now less well informed by macroeconomic conditions; because expectations are important in the setting of current-period prices, inflation is therefore less sensitive to macroeconomic conditions. To distinguish between our two hypotheses, we bring to bear information on inflation expectations from surveys, which allow us to distinguish changes in the sensitivity of inflation to economic conditions conditioning on expectations from changes in the sensitivity of expectations themselves to economic conditions. We find that, with some measures, expectations are less tied to economic conditions than in the past, and thus that this reduced attentiveness can account for a significant portion of the reduction in the sensitivity of inflation to economic conditions in recent decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Damjan Pfajfar & John M. Roberts, 2018. "The Role of Expectations in Changed Inflation Dynamics," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-062, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2018-62
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2018.062
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2018062pap.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "This is what happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, October.
    2. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
    3. Ricardo Nunes, 2009. "On the Epidemiological Microfoundations of Sticky Information," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(5), pages 643-657, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    6. 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.
    7. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Is the Phillips Curve Alive and Well after All? Inflation Expectations and the Missing Disinflation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 197-232, January.
    8. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
    9. Sophocles Mavroeidis & Mikkel Plagborg-Møller & James H. Stock, 2014. "Empirical Evidence on Inflation Expectations in the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 124-188, March.
    10. Carvalho, Carlos & Nechio, Fernanda, 2014. "Do people understand monetary policy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 108-123.
    11. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    12. Peter Tulip, 2009. "Has the Economy Become More Predictable? Changes in Greenbook Forecast Accuracy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1217-1231, September.
    13. Dräger, Lena & Lamla, Michael J. & Pfajfar, Damjan, 2016. "Are survey expectations theory-consistent? The role of central bank communication and news," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 84-111.
    14. Alisdair McKay & Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2016. "The Power of Forward Guidance Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 3133-3158, October.
    15. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    16. repec:oup:qjecon:v:133:y:2018:i:4:p:1933-1980. is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Rupal Kamdar, 2018. "The Formation of Expectations, Inflation, and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1447-1491, December.
    18. 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.
    19. Fuhrer, Jeff, 2017. "Expectations as a source of macroeconomic persistence: Evidence from survey expectations in a dynamic macro model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 22-35.
    20. 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.
    21. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263.
    22. Aoki, Kosuke, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy responses to relative-price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-80, August.
    23. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    24. John M. Roberts, 1998. "Inflation expectations and the transmission of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    25. Damjan Pfajfar & Emiliano Santoro, 2013. "News on Inflation and the Epidemiology of Inflation Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(6), pages 1045-1067, September.
    26. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson & Patrick Sun & Daniel Villar, 2018. "The Elusive Costs of Inflation: Price Dispersion during the U.S. Great Inflation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(4), pages 1933-1980.
    27. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Phillips curve ; Survey inflation expectations ; Inflation dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:fedgfe:2018-62. 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: (Ryan Wolfslayer) or (Keisha Fournillier). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbgvus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.