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Consumer Misperceptions, Uncertain Fundamentals, and the Business Cycle

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  • Hürtgen, Patrick

Abstract

This paper explores the importance of shocks to consumer misperceptions, or "noise shocks", in a quantitative business cycle model. I embed imperfect information as in Lorenzoni (2009) into a new Keynesian model with price and wage rigidities. Agents learn about the components of labor productivity by only observing aggregate productivity and a noisy signal. Noise shocks lead to expectational errors about the true fundamentals triggering aggregate fluctuations. Estimating the model with Bayesian methods on US data shows that noise shocks contribute to 20 percent of consumption fluctuations at short horizons. Wage rigidity is pivotal for the importance of noise shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Hürtgen, Patrick, 2011. "Consumer Misperceptions, Uncertain Fundamentals, and the Business Cycle," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers 10/2011, University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bonedp:102011
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    2. Debes, Sebastian & Gareis, Johannes & Mayer, Eric & Rüth, Sebastian, 2014. "Towards a consumer sentiment channel of monetary policy," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 91, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Imperfect Information; Noise Shocks; Aggregate Fluctuations; Bayesian Estimation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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