IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/27800.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Communication and the Beliefs of Economic Agents

Author

Listed:
  • Bernardo Candia
  • Olivier Coibion
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

Abstract

New surveys provide a wealth of information on how economic agents form their expectations and how those expectations shape their decisions. We review recent evidence on how changes in macroeconomic expectations, particularly inflation expectations, affect households’ and firms’ actions. We show that the provision of information about inflation to households and firms can sometimes backfire in terms of their subsequent decisions. Whether or not this is the case hinges on how individuals interpret the news about inflation: supply-side interpretations (“inflation is bad for the economy”) lead to negative income effects, which can depress economic activity. We show that households in advanced economies, unlike professional forecasters, typically have such a supply-side interpretation, as do many firms. New communication strategies could avoid public misinterpretation of policy decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernardo Candia & Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2020. "Communication and the Beliefs of Economic Agents," NBER Working Papers 27800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27800
    Note: EFG IFM ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w27800.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Andre & Carlo Pizzinelli & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2019. "Subjective Models of the Macroeconomy: Evidence from Experts and Representative Samples," CESifo Working Paper Series 7850, CESifo.
    2. Alan K. Detmeister & Daeus Jorento & Emily Massaro & Ekaterina V. Peneva, 2015. "Did the Fed's Announcement of an Inflation Objective Influence Expectations?," FEDS Notes 2015-06-08-2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Lamla, Michael J. & Vinogradov, Dmitri V., 2019. "Central bank announcements: Big news for little people?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 21-38.
    4. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Saten Kumar, 2018. "How Do Firms Form Their Expectations? New Survey Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(9), pages 2671-2713, September.
    5. Coibion, Olivier & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & van Rooij, Maarten, 2019. "How Does Consumption Respond to News about Inflation? Field Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3zh865pj, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. George-Marios Angeletos & Zhen Huo & Karthik A. Sastry, 2021. "Imperfect Macroeconomic Expectations: Evidence and Theory," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-86.
    7. 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.
    8. Andrade, Philippe & Le Bihan, Hervé, 2013. "Inattentive professional forecasters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 967-982.
    9. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kumar, Saten & Pedemonte, Mathieu, 2020. "Inflation expectations as a policy tool?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    10. Saten Kumar & Hassan Afrouzi & Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Inflation Targeting Does Not Anchor Inflation Expectations: Evidence from Firms in New Zealand," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 151-225.
    11. 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.
    12. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Saten Kumar & Jane Ryngaert, 2018. "Do You Know That I Know That You Know...? Higher-Order Beliefs in Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 24987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Maritta Paloviita & Michael Weber, 2019. "Human Frictions to the Transmission of Economic Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 339, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Janet Yellen, 2018. "Comments on Monetary Policy at the Effective Lower Bound," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(2 (Fall)), pages 573-579.
    15. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    16. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 209-270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2019. "Monetary Policy, Bounded Rationality, and Incomplete Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(11), pages 3887-3928, November.
    18. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 13-70, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Carola Binder & Alex Rodrigue, 2018. "Household Informedness and Long‐Run Inflation Expectations: Experimental Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(2), pages 580-598, October.
    20. Rüdiger Bachmann & Tim O. Berg & Eric R. Sims, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Readiness to Spend: Cross-Sectional Evidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, February.
    21. Hibiki Ichiue & Shusaku Nishiguchi, 2015. "Inflation Expectations And Consumer Spending At The Zero Bound: Micro Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 1086-1107, April.
    22. 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.
    23. George-Marios Angeletos & Karthik A. Sastry, 2018. "Managing Expectations: Instruments vs. Targets," NBER Working Papers 25404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Inflation Expectations, Learning, and Supermarket Prices: Evidence from Survey Experiments," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 1-35, July.
    25. David Altig & Jose Maria Barrero & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Brent H. Meyer & Nicholas Parker, 2019. "Surveying Business Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 25956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. 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.
    27. Philippe Andrade & Olivier Coibion & Erwan Gautier & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2020. "No Firm is an Island? How Industry Conditions Shape Firms' Aggregate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 27317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Rupal Kamdar, 2018. "The Formation of Expectations, Inflation, and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1447-1491, December.
    29. Francesco D’Acunto & Ulrike Malmendier & Juan Ospina & Michael Weber, 2019. "Exposure to Daily Price Changes and Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 26237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Olivier Armantier & Gizem Koşar & Rachel Pomerantz & Daphne Skandalis & Kyle Smith & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2020. "Inflation Expectations in Times of COVID-19," Liberty Street Economics 20200513, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    31. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    32. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    33. Binder, Carola, 2017. "Fed speak on main street: Central bank communication and household expectations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 238-251.
    34. Mathieu Pedemonte, 2020. "Fireside Chats: Communication and Consumers’ Expectations in the Great Depression," Working Papers 202030, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    35. repec:pri:cepsud:161blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Inflation Expectations in Ukraine: A Long Path to Anchoring?," Visnyk of the National Bank of Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine, issue 233, pages 6-23.
    37. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2018. "Lack of preparation for rare events," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 35-47.
    38. Bholat, David & Broughton, Nida & Ter Meer, Janna & Walczak, Eryk, 2019. "Enhancing central bank communications using simple and relatable information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-15.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ewa Stanisławska & Maritta Paloviita, 2021. "Medium- vs. short-term consumer inflation expectations: evidence from a new euro area survey," NBP Working Papers 338, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    2. Ewa Stanisławska & Maritta Paloviita, 2021. "Medium- vs. short-term consumer inflation expectations: evidence from a new euro area survey," NBP Working Papers 338, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    3. Cecion, Martina & Coenen, Günter & Gerke, Rafael & Le Bihan, Hervé & Motto, Roberto & Aguilar, Pablo & Ajevskis, Viktors & Giesen, Sebastian & Albertazzi, Ugo & Gilbert, Niels & Al-Haschimi, Alexander, 2021. "The ECB’s price stability framework: past experience, and current and future challenges," Occasional Paper Series 269, European Central Bank.
    4. Stefan Schiman & Atanas Pekanov, 2020. "Uncertainty in the Euro Area During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 66708, June.
    5. Conrad, Christian & Enders, Zeno & Glas, Alexander, 2020. "The role of information and experience for households' inflation expectations," Working Papers 20, German Research Foundation's Priority Programme 1859 "Experience and Expectation. Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour", Humboldt University Berlin.
    6. Baumann, Ursel & Darracq Pariès, Matthieu & Westermann, Thomas & Riggi, Marianna & Bobeica, Elena & Meyler, Aidan & Böninghausen, Benjamin & Fritzer, Friedrich & Trezzi, Riccardo & Jonckheere, Jana & , 2021. "Inflation expectations and their role in Eurosystem forecasting," Occasional Paper Series 264, European Central Bank.
    7. Sara Cecchetti & Davide Fantino & Alessandro Notarpietro & Marianna Riggi & Alex Tagliabracci & Andrea Tiseno & Roberta Zizza, 2021. "Inflation expectations in the euro area: indicators, analyses and models used at Banca d’Italia," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 612, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Nashwan M. A. Saif & Jianping Ruan & Bojan Obrenovic, 2021. "Sustaining Trade during COVID-19 Pandemic: Establishing a Conceptual Model Including COVID-19 Impact," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(10), pages 1-20, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Candia, Bernardo & Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy, 2021. "The Inflation Expectations of U.S. Firms: Evidence from a New Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 14378, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kumar, Saten & Pedemonte, Mathieu, 2020. "Inflation expectations as a policy tool?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    3. Olivier Coibion & Dimitris Georgarakos & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2020. "Forward Guidance and Household Expectations," Working Papers 2020-07, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. Olivier Coibion & Dimitris Georgarakos & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Maarten van Rooij, 2019. "How does consumption respond to news about inflation? Field evidence from a randomized control trial," DNB Working Papers 651, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Does Policy Communication During COVID Work?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt19b8p8g1, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Does Policy Communication during COVID-19 Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 13355, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Tiziano Ropele, 2020. "Inflation Expectations and Firm Decisions: New Causal Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 165-219.
    8. Kryvtsov, Oleksiy & Petersen, Luba, 2021. "Central bank communication that works: Lessons from lab experiments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 760-780.
    9. Goldfayn-Frank, Olga & Wohlfart, Johannes, 2020. "Expectation formation in a new environment: Evidence from the German reunification," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 301-320.
    10. Erwan Gautier & Eric Mengus, 2020. "What Matters in Households’ Inflation Expectations?Author-Name: Philippe Andrade," Working papers 770, Banque de France.
    11. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2019. "Monetary Policy Communications and their Effects on Household Inflation Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 7464, CESifo.
    12. Christian Conrad & Zeno Enders & Alexander Glas, 2020. "The Role of Information and Experience for Households' Inflation Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8528, CESifo.
    13. Beutel, Johannes & Metiu, Norbert & Stockerl, Valentin, 2021. "Toothless tiger with claws? Financial stability communication, expectations, and risk-taking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 53-69.
    14. Andrade Philippe & Coibion Olivier & Gautier Erwan & Gorodnichenko Yuriy, 2020. "No Firm Is an Island? How Industry Conditions Shape Firms’ Expectations," Working papers 780, Banque de France.
    15. Philippe Andrade & Olivier Coibion & Erwan Gautier & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2020. "No Firm is an Island? How Industry Conditions Shape Firms' Aggregate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 27317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Francesco D’Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber, 2020. "Managing Households' Expectations with Unconventional Policies," NBER Working Papers 27399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Abildgren, Kim & Kuchler, Andreas, 2021. "Revisiting the inflation perception conundrum," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    18. Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "How Do Expectations about the Macroeconomy Affect Personal Expectations and Behavior?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 731-748, October.
    19. Ehrmann, Michael & Wabitsch, Alena, 2021. "Central bank communication with non-experts: a road to nowhere?," Working Paper Series 2594, European Central Bank.
    20. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Maritta Paloviita & Michael Weber, 2019. "Human Frictions to the Transmission of Economic Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 339, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27800. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.