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Do People Understand Monetary Policy?

  • Carlos Carvalho


    (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

  • Fernanda Nechio

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

We combine questions from the Michigan Survey about the future path of prices, interest rates, and unemployment to investigate whether households are aware of the basic features of U.S. monetary policy. Our Öndings support the view that at least some groups of households form their expectations about the future path of interest rates, ináation, and unemployment in a way that is consistent with those features. However, we also document a large degree of variation in the pattern of household responses over the business cycle. In particular, the negative relationship between unemployment and interest rates that is apparent in the data only shows up unequivocally in householdsíanswers during periods of labor market weakness.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 618.

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Length: 30p
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:618
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  1. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. John Taylor, 2007. "Housing and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 07-003, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. 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.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M., 2011. "Financial literacy, retirement planning, and household wealth," CFS Working Paper Series 2011/21, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. 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.
  7. James D. Hamilton & Seth Pruitt & Scott Borger, 2010. "Estimating the Market-Perceived Monetary Policy Rule," NBER Working Papers 16412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," NBER Working Papers 16537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jordi Galí & Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2011. "Unemployment in an Estimated New Keynesian Model," Working Papers 541, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Fabia A. de Carvalho & André Minella, 2009. "Market Forecasts in Brazil: performance and determinants," Working Papers Series 185, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  11. Rüdiger Bachmann & Tim O. Berg & Eric R. Sims, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Readiness to Spend: Cross-Sectional Evidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2007. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 13259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Carlos Madeira & Basit Zafar, 2012. "Heterogeneus Inflation Expectations Learning and Market Outcomes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 667, Central Bank of Chile.
  16. Hervé Le Bihan & Philippe Andrade, 2010. "Inattentive Professional Forecasters," 2010 Meeting Papers 1144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Sandra Schmidt & Dieter Nautz, 2010. "Why Do Financial Market Experts Misperceive Future Monetary Policy Decisions?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-036, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  18. 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.
  19. Tabea Bucher-Koenen & Annamaria Lusardi, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in Germany," CeRP Working Papers 109, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  20. Michael Woodford, 2013. "Macroeconomic Analysis Without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 303-346, 05.
  21. Daniel Tortorice, 2010. "Unemployment Expectations and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 05, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School, revised Mar 2011.
  22. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2644-78, August.
  23. Charles F. Manski & Elie Tamer, 2002. "Inference on Regressions with Interval Data on a Regressor or Outcome," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 519-546, March.
  24. 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.).
  25. 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.
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