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Imperfect information and inflation expectations

Listed author(s):
  • Lena Draeger
  • Michael J. Lamla

We investigate the updating behavior of individual consumers regarding their shortand 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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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-007611525
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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: Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:13-329
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  1. 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.
  2. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  3. 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.
  4. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  5. Ball, Laurence & Gregory Mankiw, N. & Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Monetary policy for inattentive economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 703-725, May.
  6. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
  7. Lamla, Michael J. & Lein, Sarah M., 2014. "The role of media for consumers’ inflation expectation formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 62-77.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 2644-2678, August.
  10. Ivo Welch & Amit Goyal, 2008. "A Comprehensive Look at The Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1455-1508, July.
  11. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating inflation expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  12. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Lena Dräger, 2011. "Endogenous Persistence with Recursive Inattentiveness," KOF Working papers 11-285, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  19. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  20. 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.
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