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Anchoring of Consumers’ Inflation Expectations: Evidence from Microdata

In this paper we explore the degree of anchoring of consumers’ long-run inflation expectations. If expectations are firmly anchored, short- and long-run expectations should show no comovement in response to transitory shocks. Utilizing the University of Michigan Survey of Consumer’s rotating panel microstructure, we can identify changes in inflation expectations of individual consumers over time. Our results indicate that long-run inflation expectations became more anchored over the last decades. While the degree of comovement fell significantly after 1996, the probability of a joint adjustment stayed constant. Regarding the possible determinants, we find that consumers’ rising interest rate expectations and perceived news on the monetary policy stance have a detrimental effect on the anchoring of long-run expectations. This effect is no longer present in the post-1996 period. Notably, a positive effect of perceived news on government debt on the degree of comovement emerges after 1996, alluding to a potentially problematic link between fiscal and monetary policy.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 13-339.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:13-339
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  1. Pfajfar, D. & Santoro, E., 2012. "News on Inflation and the Epidemiology of Inflation Expectations," Discussion Paper 2012-048, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Dovern, Jonas & Fritsche, Ulrich & Slacalek, Jiri, 2009. "Disagreement among forecasters in G7 countries," Working Paper Series 1082, European Central Bank.
  3. Jochmann, Markus & Koop, Gary & Potter, Simon M., 2010. "Modeling the dynamics of inflation compensation," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 157-167, January.
  4. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Andrew T. Levin & Andrew N. Marder & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Inflation Targeting and the Anchoring of Inflation Expectations in The Western Hemisphere," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 400, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. 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.
  6. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Meredith J. Beechey & Benjamin K. Johannsen & Andrew T. Levin, 2008. "Are long-run inflation expectations anchored more firmly in the Euro area than in the United States?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2006. "Inflation targeting under imperfect knowledge," Working Paper Series 2006-14, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. repec:dgr:kubcen:2012048 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. Refet S Gürkaynak & Andrew Levin & Eric Swanson, 2010. "Does Inflation Targeting Anchor Long-Run Inflation Expectations? Evidence from the U.S., UK, and Sweden," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1208-1242, December.
  13. J. Easaw & R. Golinelli & M. Malgarini, 2012. "Do Households Anchor their Inflation Expectations? Theory and Evidence from a Household Survey," Working Papers wp842, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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