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The Role of Media for Consumers' Inflation Expectation Formation

This paper analyzes the impact of the media on consumers' inflation expectations. We distinguish two channels through which media can influence expectations. First, the intensity of news coverage on inflation plays a role (volume channel). Second, the content of these reports matters (tone channel). Employing a unique data set capturing media reports on inflation in Germany comprising 01/1998-12/2006 we are able to discriminate between these two effects. We find that the volume effect generally improves the accuracy of consumer forecasts while the tone channel induces a media bias.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 08-201.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-201
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  1. Pfajfar, D. & Zakelj, B., 2014. "Experimental evidence on inflation expectation formation," Other publications TiSEM f337739d-e15a-4461-a461-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Author-Name: Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 327-397.
  3. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200604, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Luigi Paciello & Mirko Wiederholt, 2011. "Exogenous Information, Endogenous Information and Optimal Monetary Policy," EIEF Working Papers Series 1104, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2011.
  6. 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 2644-78, August.
  7. Larcinese, Valentino & Puglisi, Riccardo & Snyder, James M., 2011. "Partisan bias in economic news: Evidence on the agenda-setting behavior of U.S. newspapers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1178-1189.
  8. 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.
  9. DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  10. Jörg Döpke & Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2006. "The Dynamics of European Inflation Expectations," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 571, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Jan Marc Berk, 1999. "Measuring inflation expectations: a survey data approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1467-1480.
  12. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," NBER Working Papers 9491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2011. "Monetary Policy in the Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8192, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Mestre, Ricardo, 2007. "Are survey-based inflation expections in the euro area informative?," Working Paper Series 0721, European Central Bank.
  15. 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.
  16. Dovern, Jonas & Fritsche, Ulrich & Slacalek, Jiri, 2009. "Disagreement among forecasters in G7 countries," Working Paper Series 1082, European Central Bank.
  17. Lena Dräger & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, . "Perceived Inflation under Loss Aversion," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201105, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  18. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-38, May.
  19. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. repec:oup:restud:v:78:y:2011:i:3:p:795-820 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237.
  23. Leduc, Sylvain & Sill, Keith & Stark, Tom, 2007. "Self-fulfilling expectations and the inflation of the 1970s: Evidence from the Livingston Survey," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 433-459, March.
  24. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  25. Brian G. Knight & Chun-Fang Chiang, 2008. "Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements," NBER Working Papers 14445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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