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Inflation Expectations of the Inattentive General Public

The majority of academic research on central bank communication has analysed a central bank’s audience as a single group. Analyses, especially empirical research have focused almost exclusively on a central bank’s interaction with the financial markets, facilitated by the availability of high-quality, high-frequency asset price data. In practice, a central bank’s audience is heterogeneous, and recognising this is advantageous for both modelling purposes and effective central bank communication. Many central banks use a range of communication tools to reach their various audiences, but little formal analysis has been conducted to guide policy design and communication strategies. Gathering and processing information are costly for the general public, so they make rational decisions that limit the time and resources they allocate to these tasks. As a result, aggregate inflation expectations of the public as a whole can be described as ‘stick' in that the spread of information about inflation expectations through the economy is not instantaneous. A body of literature has emerged over the past decade, led by Mankiw and Reis (2001), who developed the Sticky Information Phillips Curve (SIPC), and Carroll (2002, 2003), who proposed microfoundations for the SIPC. This paper follows Carroll (2002, 2003) in adopting epidemiological models to provide insight into how the general public in South Africa forms its inflation expectations. This enables an estimation of the speed at which the South African general public updates its inflation expectations (information stickiness). Agent-based models, which explain the complex aggregate inflation expectations of the general public from the agent level upwards, are then used to verify these estimates of information stickiness and explore the microfoundations of aggregate inflation expectations

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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 278.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:278
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  1. Roberts, John M., 1997. "Is inflation sticky?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-196, July.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2010. "Imperfect Information and Aggregate Supply," NBER Working Papers 15773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Laurence Ball, 1991. "The Genesis of Inflation and the Costs of Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 3621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations Of Households And Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298, February.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness (Expanded Version)," CEPR Discussion Papers 5521, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  8. Marie Musard-Gies, 2005. "Do ECB's statements steer short-term and long-term interest rates in the euro zone?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 56, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  9. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  10. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200604, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," NBER Working Papers 10883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff Between Inflation and Unemployment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1905, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Y. & Smith, R.J., 1999. "Bounds Testing Approaches to the Analysis of Long-run Relationships," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9907, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  15. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2007. "Sticky Information in General Equilibrium," Scholarly Articles 3415323, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Arthur J. Rolnick, 2007. "Interview with Christopher Sims," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jun, pages 12-21.
  18. Edmund Phelps, 1978. "Disinflation without recession: Adaptive guideposts and monetary policy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 114(4), pages 783-809, December.
  19. John B. Taylor, 1982. "Union Wage Settlements During a Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 0985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Niall Ferguson & Moritz Schularick, 2008. "The "Thin Film Of Gold": Monetary Rules and Policy Credibility In Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 13918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Juselius, Katarina, 2006. "The Cointegrated VAR Model: Methodology and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199285679, March.
  22. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," DNB Working Papers 170, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  23. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information: A Model of Monetary Nonneutrality and Structural Slumps," NBER Working Papers 8614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Reeves, Rachel & Sawicki, Michael, 2007. "Do financial markets react to Bank of England communication?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 207-227, March.
  25. Sims, Christopher A., 2005. "Rational inattention: a research agenda," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,34, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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  27. Fuhrer, Jeff & Moore, George, 1992. "Monetary policy rules and the indicator properties of asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 303-336, April.
  28. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521474009 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Sims, Christopher A., 2010. "Rational Inattention and Monetary Economics," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 4, pages 155-181 Elsevier.
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