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Imperfect Information and Inflation Expectations: Evidence from Microdata

We investigate the updating behavior of individual consumers regarding their short and long-run inflation expectations. Utilizing the University of Michigan Survey of Consumer’s rotating panel microstructure, we can identify whether individuals adjust their inflation expectations over a period of six months. We find evidence that the updating frequency has been underestimated. Furthermore, looking at the possible determinants of an update we find support for imperfect information models. Moreover, individual expectations are found to be more accurate after an update and forecast accuracy is affected by inflation volatility measures and news regarding inflation. Finally, the updating frequency is found to significantly move spreads in bond markets.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 13-329.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:13-329
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  1. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Döpke, Jörg & Dovern, Jonas & Fritsche, Ulrich & Slacalek, Jiri, 2008. "Sticky information Phillips curves: European evidence," Working Paper Series 0930, European Central Bank.
  3. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  4. Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
  5. Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," 2011 Meeting Papers 535, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. 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.
  7. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  8. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," NBER Working Papers 9491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations Of Households And Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298, February.
  11. 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, 09.
  12. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," Working Papers 102, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  13. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201216, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  14. repec:dgr:kubcen:2012048 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Doepke Joerg & Dovern Jonas & Fritsche Ulrich & Slacalek Jiri, 2008. "The Dynamics of European Inflation Expectations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, March.
  16. Amit Goval & Ivo Welch, 2004. "A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," NBER Working Papers 10483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Lein, 2008. "The Role of Media for Consumers' Inflation Expectation Formation," KOF Working papers 08-201, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  18. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  19. Lena Dräger, 2011. "Endogenous Persistence with Recursive Inattentiveness," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201103, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  20. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
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