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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. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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  7. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Consumers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Pfajfar, D. & Santoro, E., 2012. "News on Inflation and the Epidemiology of Inflation Expectations," Discussion Paper 2012-048, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. Christopher D Carroll, 2002. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," Economics Working Paper Archive 477, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  19. Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-026, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  20. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  21. Lena Dräger, 2011. "Endogenous Persistence with Recursive Inattentiveness," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201103, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
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