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Empirical Properties of Inflation Expectations and the Zero Lower Bound

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  • Mirko Wiederholt

    (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Abstract

Survey data on expectations shows that households have heterogeneous inflation expectations and their inflation expectations respond sluggishly to realized shocks to future inflation. By contrast, in models with a zero bound on the nominal interest rate currently used for monetary and fiscal policy analysis, households' inflation expectations are not heterogeneous and not sticky. This paper solves a New Keynesian model with a zero lower bound in which households have dispersed information. Households' inflation expectations are heterogeneous and sticky. The main properties of the model are: (1) the deflationary spiral in bad states of the world is less severe than under perfect information, (2) central bank communication (without a change in current or future policy) affects consumption and the sign of this effect depends on whether the zero lower bound is binding, i.e., an announcement that increases consumption when the zero lower bound is not binding reduces consumption when the zero lower bound is binding, (3) a commitment to future inflation can reduce consumption, (4) the government spending multiplier can be negative, and (5) shocks to uncertainty can have first-order effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Mirko Wiederholt, 2014. "Empirical Properties of Inflation Expectations and the Zero Lower Bound," 2014 Meeting Papers 1407, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:1407
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Olivier Armantier & Wändi Bruine de Bruin & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert Klaauw & Basit Zafar, 2015. "Inflation Expectations And Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act On Their Beliefs?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 505-536, May.
    3. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    4. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Lorenzoni, 2018. "Comment on "Monetary Policy Analysis When Planning Horizons Are Finite"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2018, volume 33, pages 67-74, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Philippe Andrade & Gaetano Gaballo & Eric Mengus & Benoît Mojon, 2019. "Forward Guidance and Heterogeneous Beliefs," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 1-29, July.
    3. Ehrmann, Michael & Gaballo, Gaetano & Hoffmann, Peter & Strasser, Georg, 2019. "Can more public information raise uncertainty? The international evidence on forward guidance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 93-112.
    4. Richhild Moessner & David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2017. "Communication About Future Policy Rates In Theory And Practice: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 678-711, July.
    5. Lieb, Lenard & Schuffels, Johannes, 2020. "Inflation expectations and consumer spending: the role of household balance sheets (RM/19/022-revised-)," Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    6. Lieb, Lenard & Schuffels, Johannes, 2019. "Inflation expectations and consumer spending: the role of household balance sheets," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).

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