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How Do Firms Form Their Expectations? New Survey Evidence

Author

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  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

    (University of California Berkeley)

  • Saten Kumar

    (Auckland University of Technology)

  • Olivier Coibion

    (UT Austin)

Abstract

We implement a new survey of firms’ macroeconomic beliefs in New Zealand and document a number of novel stylized facts from this survey. Despite nearly twenty-five years under an inflation targeting regime, there is widespread dispersion in firms’ beliefs about both past and future macroeconomic conditions, especially inflation, with average beliefs about recent and past inflation being much higher than those of professional forecasters. Much of the dispersion in beliefs can be explained by firms’ incentives to collect and process information, i.e. rational inattention motives. Using experimental methods, we find that firms update their beliefs in a Bayesian manner when presented with new information about the economy. But few firms seem to think that inflation is most important to their business decisions and therefore they tend to devote few resources to collecting and processing information about inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Saten Kumar & Olivier Coibion, 2016. "How Do Firms Form Their Expectations? New Survey Evidence," 2016 Meeting Papers 1340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:1340
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelacci, Claudio & Paciello, Luigi, 2017. "Ambiguous Policy Announcements," CEPR Discussion Papers 11754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Rozsypal, Filip & Schlafmann, Kathrin, 2017. "Overpersistence Bias in Individual Income Expectations and its Aggregate Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 12028, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Lukas Buchheim & Sebastian Link, 2017. "The Effect of Disaggregate Information on the Expectation Formation of Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 6768, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Jed Armstrong & Miles Parker, 2016. "How wages are set: evidence from a large survey of firms," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2016/03, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    5. Armona, Luis & Fuster, Andreas & Zafar, Basit, 2016. "Home price expectations and behavior: evidence from a randomized information experiment," Staff Reports 798, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Khan, Shujaat & Knotek, Edward S., 2015. "Drifting inflation targets and monetary stagflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 39-54.
    7. 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.
    8. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2016. "Business uncertainty and investment: Evidence from Japanese companies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 224-236.
    9. Giovanni Dosi & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini & Joseph E. Stiglitz & Tania Treibich, 2017. "Rational Heuristics? Expectations and Behaviors in Evolving Economies with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents," LEM Papers Series 2017/31, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:66-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Massenot, Baptiste & Pettinicchi, Yuri, 2018. "Can firms see into the future? Survey evidence from Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 66-79.
    12. Pinto, Santiago & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G. & Sharp, Robert, 2015. "Learning About Consumer Uncertainty from Qualitative Surveys: As Uncertain As Ever," Working Paper 15-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    13. Simon Richards & Matthieu Verstraete, 2016. "Understanding Firms' Inflation Expectations Using the Bank of Canada's Business Outlook Survey," Staff Working Papers 16-7, Bank of Canada.
    14. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1065 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. Raphael Schoenle & Kristian Ove Myrseth & Rawley Heimer, 2016. "YOLO: Mortality Beliefs and Household Finance Puzzles," 2016 Meeting Papers 661, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Isabella Blengini & Kenza Benhima, 2016. "Optimal Monetary Policy when Information is Market-Generated," 2016 Meeting Papers 1223, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Domit, Sílvia & Jackson, Chris & Roberts-Sklar , Matt, 2015. "Do inflation expectations currently pose a risk to inflation?," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 55(55), pages 165-180.
    19. Michael Weber & Daniel Hoang & Francesco D'Acunto, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Consumption Expenditure," 2015 Meeting Papers 1266, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    20. S. Dupraz, 2017. "A Kinked-Demand Theory of Price Rigidity," Working papers 656, Banque de France.
    21. Christa Hainz & Nikolay Hristov, 2017. "Zur Kredithürde: Perzeption der Kreditvergabebereitschaft der Banken und unternehmensspezifische Kreditmarkterfahrung," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 70(07), pages 51-54, April.
    22. Afrouzi, Hassan, 2016. "Endogenous firm competition and the cyclicality of markups," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 265, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    23. Simon Richards & Matthieu Verstraete, 2016. "Understanding Firms' Inflation Expectations Using the Bank of Canada's Business Outlook Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 6090, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. Rawley Z. Heimer & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Raphael S. Schoenle, 2015. "YOLO: Mortality Beliefs and Household Finance Puzzles," Working Papers 97, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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