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Identification of Interaction Effects in Survey Expectations: A Cautionary Note

  • Alfarano, Simone
  • Milakovic, Mishael

A growing body of literature reports evidence of social interaction effects in survey expectations. In this note, we argue that evidence in favor of social interaction effects should be treated with caution, or could even be spurious. Utilizing a parsimonious stochastic model of expectation formation and dynamics, we show that the existing sample sizes of survey expectations are about two orders of magnitude too small to reasonably distinguish between noise and interaction effects. Moreover, we argue that the problem is compounded by the fact that highly correlated responses among agents might not be caused by interaction eects at all, but instead by model-consistent beliefs. Ultimately, these results suggest that existing survey data cannot facilitate our understanding of the process of expectations formation.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26002.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26002
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  1. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo & Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Research Papers 1807, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Wrede, Matthias, 1999. "A note on reliefs for traveling expenses to work," BERG Working Paper Series 30, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
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  11. Lines Marji & Westerhoff Frank, 2012. "Effects of Inflation Expectations on Macroeconomic Dynamics: Extrapolative Versus Regressive Expectations," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-30, October.
  12. Treier, Volker, 1999. "Unemployment in reforming countries: Causes, fiscal impacts and the success of transformation," BERG Working Paper Series 29, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
  13. Westerhoff, Frank, 2009. "A simple agent-based financial market model: Direct interactions and comparisons of trading profits," BERG Working Paper Series 61, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
  14. Szüle, Borbála, 2003. "Inside financial conglomerates: Effects in the Hungarian pension fund markets," BERG Working Paper Series 42, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
  15. Jenei, György, 2009. "A post-accession crisis? Political developments and public sector modernization in Hungary," BERG Working Paper Series 67, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
  16. Fabio Milani, 2011. "Expectation Shocks and Learning as Drivers of the Business Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 379-401, 05.
  17. Kola, Tonin & Liko, Elida, 2008. "An empirical assessment of alternative exchange rate regimes in medium term in Albania," BERG Working Paper Series 58, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
  18. Nusser, Michael, 1999. "The implications of wage structure rigidity on human capital accumulation, economic growth and unemployment: A Schumpeterian approach to endogenous growth theory," BERG Working Paper Series 28, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
  19. Kächelein, Holger, 2004. "Capital Tax Competition and Partial Cooperation : Welfare Enhancing or not?," BERG Working Paper Series 51, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
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