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Do You Know That I Know That You Know?: Higher Order Beliefs in Survey Data

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Coibion

    (UT Austin)

  • Jane Ryngaert

    (Wake Forest University)

  • Saten Kumar

    (Auckland University of Technology)

  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

    (University of California Berkeley)

Abstract

We implement a new survey of firms, focusing on their higher-order macroeconomic expectations. The survey provides a novel set of stylized facts regarding the relationship between first-order and higher-order expectations of economic agents, including how they adjust their beliefs in response to a variety of information treatments and how these adjustments affect their economic decisions. We show how these facts can be used to calibrate key parameters of noisy-information models with infinite regress as well as to test predictions made by this class of models. The survey also quantifies cognitive limits of agents in the form of level-k thinking. We find little evidence that this departure from infinite regress helps reconcile the data and theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Coibion & Jane Ryngaert & Saten Kumar & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2019. "Do You Know That I Know That You Know?: Higher Order Beliefs in Survey Data," 2019 Meeting Papers 280, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed019:280
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kleinjans, Kristin J. & van Soest, Arthur, 2010. "Nonresponse and Focal Point Answers to Subjective Probability Questions," IZA Discussion Papers 5272, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Angeletos, George-Marios & La’O, Jennifer, 2009. "Incomplete information, higher-order beliefs and price inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages 19-37.
    4. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kumar, Saten & Pedemonte, Mathieu, 2020. "Inflation expectations as a policy tool?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    5. 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.
    6. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric Van Wincoop, 2008. "Higher Order Expectations in Asset Pricing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 837-866, August.
    7. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Is the Phillips Curve Alive and Well after All? Inflation Expectations and the Missing Disinflation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 197-232, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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