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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
  4. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," NBER Working Papers 16537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  8. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Jörg Döpke & Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 615, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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.
  12. Lena Dräger, 2011. "Endogenous Persistence with Recursive Inattentiveness," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201103, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  16. Filip Matejka & Alisdair McKay, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp442, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  17. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Pfajfar, D. & Santoro, E., 2012. "News on Inflation and the Epidemiology of Inflation Expectations," Discussion Paper 2012-048, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  19. 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.
  20. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
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