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Monetary Policy Communications and their Effects on Household Inflation Expectations

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  • Olivier Coibion
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko
  • Michael Weber

Abstract

We study how different forms of communication influence inflation expectations in a randomized controlled trial using nearly 20,000 U.S. individuals. We elicit individuals’ inflation expectations in the Nielsen Homescan panel and then provide eight different forms of information regarding inflation. Reading the actual Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement has about the same average effect on expectations as simply being told about the Federal Reserve’s inflation target. Reading news articles about the most recent FOMC meetings results in a forecast revision which is smaller by half. This exogenous variation in inflation expectations has subsequent effects on household spending. Our results have implications for how central banks should communicate to the broader public.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2019. "Monetary Policy Communications and their Effects on Household Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 25482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25482
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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