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What Makes a Good Economy? An Analysis of Survey Data

  • Darren Grant

    ()

    (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)

This study analyzes nearly twenty-five years of U.S. survey data to determine the macroeconomic conditions associated with economies the public considers “good.” These surveys are correlated with, but distinct from, other frequently-studied, expectations-oriented indices of consumer sentiment. The primary findings are as follows: 1) inflation and unemployment, the variables in the Phillips curve, explain much of the variation in the survey data; 2) consumers’ implied loss function is nearly linear in these two variables; 3) the public is willing to trade off four percentage points of (increased) inflation for one percentage point of (decreased) unemployment.

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File URL: http://www.shsu.edu/%7Etcq001/paper_files/wp09-09_paper.pdf
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Paper provided by Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business in its series Working Papers with number 0909.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:0909
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  1. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  2. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2003. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," NBER Working Papers 9459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael C. & Pao-Lin Tien, 2000. "Economic Discomfort and Consumer Sentiment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, Winter.
  5. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
  6. Heinz Welsch, 2007. "Macroeconomics and life satisfaction: Revisiting the "misery index"," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 237-251, November.
  7. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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