Money Illusion and Rational Expectations: New Evidence from Well Known Survey Data
This paper provides further evidence in favor of less than fully rational expectations by making use two instruments, one quite well known, and the other more novel, namely survey data on inflation expectations and Smooth Transition Error Correction Models (STECMs). We use the so called ‘probabilistic approach’ to derive a quantitative measure of expected inflation from qualitative survey data for France, Italy and the UK. The United States are also included by means of the Michigan Survey of Consumers’ expectations series. First, we perform the standard tests to assess the ‘degree of rationality’ of consumers’ inflation forecasts. Afterwards, we specify a STECM of the forecast error, and we quantify the strategic stickiness in the long-run adjustment process of expectations stemming from money illusion. Our evidence is that consumers’ expectations do not generally conform to the prescriptions of the rational expectations hypothesis. In particular, we find that the adjustment process towards the long-run equilibrium is highly nonlinear and it is asymmetric with respect to the size of the past forecast errors. We interpret these findings as supporting the money illusion hypothesis.
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- Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta & Zahra Shah, 2010.
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