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Are Consumer Expectations Theory-Consistent? The Role of Macroeconomic Determinants and Central Bank Communication

Author

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  • Dräger, L.
  • Lamla, M.J.
  • Pfajfar, D.

    (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)

Abstract

Using the microdata of the Michigan Survey of Consumers, we evaluate whether U.S. consumers form macroeconomic expectations consistent with different economic concepts. We check whether their expectations are in line with the Phillips Curve, the Taylor Rule and the Income Fisher Equation. We observe that 50% of the surveyed population have expectations consistent with the Income Fisher equation and the Taylor Rule, while 25% are in line with the Phillips Curve. However, only 6% of consumers form theory-consistent expectations with respect to all three concepts. For the Taylor Rule and the Phillips curve we observe a strong cyclical pattern. For all three concepts we find significant dierences across demographic groups. Evaluating determinants of consistency, we provide evidence that the likelihood of having theory-consistent expectations with respect to the Phillips curve and the Taylor rule falls during recessions and with inflation higher than 2%. Moreover, consistency with respect to all three concepts is aected by changes in the communication policy of the Fed, where the strongest positive effect on consistency comes from the introduction of the official inflation target. Finally, we show that consumers with theory-consistent expectations have lower absolute inflation forecast errors and are closer to professionals' inflation forecasts.
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Suggested Citation

  • Dräger, L. & Lamla, M.J. & Pfajfar, D., 2013. "Are Consumer Expectations Theory-Consistent? The Role of Macroeconomic Determinants and Central Bank Communication," Other publications TiSEM 4d696071-8776-4191-a84f-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiutis:4d696071-8776-4191-a84f-f6dbdc1ec1a5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2016. "From Silence to Voice: Monetary Policy, Central Bank Governance and Communication," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1627, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    2. Paul Hubert & Harun Mirza, 2014. "Inflation expectation dynamics: the role of past present and forward looking information," Sciences Po publications 2014-07, Sciences Po.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6g0gsihsjmn5snc9pb0hlas97 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli & Gaia Rubera, 2020. "Tweeting on Monetary Policy and Market Sentiments: The Central Bank Surprise Index," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 20134, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. Geiger, Martin & Scharler, Johann, 2016. "How do Macroeconomic Shocks affect Expectations? Lessons from Survey Data," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145747, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • 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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