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On the role of heuristics: Experimental evidence on inflation dynamics

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  • Graf Lambsdorff, Johann
  • Schubert, Manuel
  • Giamattei, Marcus

Abstract

We carry out an experiment on a macroeconomic price setting game where prices are complements. Despite relevant information being common knowledge and price flexibility we observe significant deviation from equilibrium prices and history dependence. In a first treatment we observe that equilibrium values were obtained in the long run but at the cost of a very slow adjustment and thus history dependence. By reporting a business indicator in a simpler form, subjects were given the chance to coordinate their prices by help of a heuristic in a second treatment. This option was widely taken, bringing about excess volatility and a deviation from equilibrium even in the long run. In a third treatment with staggered pricing we observe, contrary to theoretical predictions, the one-round ahead (publicly known) shock is significant, but future inflation is not. Our findings cast light on price dynamics when subjects have limited computational capacities.

Suggested Citation

  • Graf Lambsdorff, Johann & Schubert, Manuel & Giamattei, Marcus, 2011. "On the role of heuristics: Experimental evidence on inflation dynamics," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-63-11, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:upadvr:v6311
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    Cited by:

    1. Giamattei, Marcus, 2015. "Cold Turkey vs. Gradualism - Evidence on Disinflation Strategies from a Laboratory Experiment," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-67-15, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    2. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2014. "Experiments on Monetary Policy and Central Banking," Research in Experimental Economics, in: John Duffy (ed.), Experiments in Macroeconomics, volume 17, pages 167-227, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    3. Marcus Giamattei & Johann Lambsdorff, 2015. "Balancing the current account: experimental evidence on underconsumption," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 670-696, December.
    4. Nagel, Rosemarie & Bühren, Christoph & Frank, Björn, 2017. "Inspired and inspiring: Hervé Moulin and the discovery of the beauty contest game," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 191-207.
    5. Cornand, Camille & Hubert, Paul, 2020. "On the external validity of experimental inflation forecasts: A comparison with five categories of field expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation Persistence; Staggered Prices; Sticky Reasoning; New Keynesian Phillips Curve;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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