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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
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-201
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  1. 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.
  2. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Larcinese, Valentino & Puglisi, Riccardo & Snyder Jr., 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(9-10), pages 1178-1189, October.
  5. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  6. Jörg Döpke & Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2008. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1513-1520, October.
  7. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "The Dynamics of European Inflation Expectations," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200603, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  8. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, 01.
  11. Dovern, Jonas & Fritsche, Ulrich & Slacalek, Jiri, 2009. "Disagreement among forecasters in G7 countries," Working Paper Series 1082, European Central Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2011. "Monetary Policy in the Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8192, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process; A Simple Framework and New Facts," IMF Working Papers 12/296, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1997, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Luigi Paciello & Mirko Wiederholt, 2014. "Exogenous Information, Endogenous Information, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 356-388.
  17. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237.
  19. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-138, May.
  20. Pfajfar, Damjan & Žakelj, Blaž, 2014. "Experimental evidence on inflation expectation formation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 147-168.
  21. Mestre, Ricardo, 2007. "Are survey-based inflation expections in the euro area informative?," Working Paper Series 0721, European Central Bank.
  22. Jan Marc Berk, 1999. "Measuring inflation expectations: a survey data approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1467-1480.
  23. Lena Dräger & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, 2014. "Perceived inflation under loss aversion," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 282-293, January.
  24. Sylvain Leduc & Keith Sill & Tom Stark, 2002. "Self-fulfilling expectations and the inflation of the 1970s: evidence from the Livingston Survey," Working Papers 02-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 01 May 2003.
  25. repec:pri:cepsud:99blinderkrueger is not listed on IDEAS
  26. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01j3860693b is not listed on IDEAS
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