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The Formation of Inflation Perceptions - Some Empirical Facts for European Countries

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  • Sarah M. Lein
  • Thomas Maag

Abstract

This paper investigates how households form their perceptions of consumer price inflation. Using data from the harmonized EU consumer survey, we find that inflation perceptions are inefficient and highly heterogeneous, yet contemporaneously related to the actual rate of inflation. Consequently, we estimate how often households update their beliefs employing Carroll's (2003) epidemiological model. Our results indicate that inflation perceptions are generally less responsive to new information than expectations. Unlike studies on expectations, we cannot confirm that a constant fraction of the population updates information every month. Also, the cross-sectional heterogeneity of perceptions is higher than implied by infrequent updating alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah M. Lein & Thomas Maag, 2008. "The Formation of Inflation Perceptions - Some Empirical Facts for European Countries," KOF Working papers 08-204, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-204
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-005666792
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lena Dräger, 2015. "Inflation perceptions and expectations in Sweden – Are media reports the missing link?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(5), pages 681-700, October.
    2. El-Shagi, Makram, 2011. "Inflation expectations: Does the market beat econometric forecasts?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 298-319.
    3. Péter Gábriel, 2010. "Household inflation expectations and inflation dynamics," MNB Working Papers 2010/12, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
    4. Lena Vogel & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, 2009. "Prospect Theory and Inflation Perceptions - An Empirical Assessment," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200903, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
    5. Michael J. Lamla & Sarah Lein, 2010. "The Euro Cash Changeover, Inflation Perceptions and the Media," KOF Working papers 10-254, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    6. Peter, Eckley, 2015. "(Non)rationality of consumer inflation perceptions," MPRA Paper 77082, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. 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.
    8. Thomas Maag, 2009. "On the accuracy of the probability method for quantifying beliefs about inflation," KOF Working papers 09-230, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    9. El-Shagi, Makram, 2009. "Inflation Expectations: Does the Market Beat Professional Forecasts?," IWH Discussion Papers 16/2009, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Perceived inflation; Sticky information; Inattention; Expectation formation;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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