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Do People Understand Monetary Policy?

Listed author(s):
  • Fernanda Nechio

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Carlos Carvalho

    (Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio))

We combine questions from the Michigan Survey about the future path of prices, interest rates, and unemployment to investigate whether U.S. households are aware of the so-called Taylor (1993) rule. For comparison, we perform the same analysis using questions from the Survey of Professional Forecasters. Our findings support the view that some households form their expectations about the future path of interest rates, inflation, and unemployment in a way that is consistent with Taylor-type rules. The extent to which this happens, however, does not appear to be uniform across income and education levels. In particular, we find evidence that the relationship between unemployment and interest rates is not properly understood by households in the lowest income quartile, and by those with no high school diploma. We also find evidence that the perceived effect of unemployment on interest rates is asymmetric, being only relevant for interest-rate decreases. Finally, we argue that the relationships that we uncover can be given a causal interpretation.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_426.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 426.

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Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:426
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. John B. Taylor, 2007. "Housing and monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 463-476.
  2. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lusardi, Annamaria, 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in Germany," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 565-584, October.
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  4. Rüdiger Bachmann & Tim O. Berg & Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Inflation Expectations and Readiness to Spend: Cross-Sectional Evidence," NBER Working Papers 17958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hervé Le Bihan & Philippe Andrade, 2010. "Inattentive Professional Forecasters," 2010 Meeting Papers 1144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  8. van Rooij, Maarten C.J. & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J.M., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the Netherlands," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 593-608, August.
  9. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, 05.
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  12. Olivier Armantier & Wändi Bruine de Bruin & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert Van der Klaauw & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Inflation expectations and behavior: Do survey respondents act on their beliefs?," Staff Reports 509, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the United States," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 509-525, October.
  14. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," Working Papers 102, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 9796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Schmidt, Sandra & Nautz, Dieter, 2010. "Why do financial market experts misperceive future monetary policy decisions?," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-045, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  17. Tortorice Daniel Louis, 2012. "Unemployment Expectations and the Business Cycle," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-49, January.
  18. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  19. James D. Hamilton & Seth Pruitt & Scott C. Borger, 2009. "The market-perceived monetary policy rule," International Finance Discussion Papers 982, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  21. Carlos Madeira & Basit Zafar, 2012. "Heterogeneus Inflation Expectations Learning and Market Outcomes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 667, Central Bank of Chile.
  22. Fabia A. de Carvalho & André Minella, 2009. "Market Forecasts in Brazil: performance and determinants," Working Papers Series 185, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  23. James D. Hamilton & Seth Pruitt & Scott Borger, 2011. "Estimating the Market-Perceived Monetary Policy Rule," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-28, July.
  24. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
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