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Imperfect Information and Inflation Expectations: Evidence from Microdata

  • Lamla, Michael
  • Dräger, Lena

We investigate the updating behavior of individual consumers regarding their short- and long-run inflation expectations. Utilizing the University of Michigan Survey of Consumer's rotating panel microstructure, we can identify whether individuals adjust their inflation expectations over a period of six months. We find evidence that the updating frequency has been underestimated. Furthermore, looking at the possible determinants of an update we find support for imperfect information models. Moreover, individual expectations are found to be more accurate after an update and forecast accuracy is affected by inflation volatility measures and news regarding inflation. Finally, the updating frequency is found to significantly move spreads in bond markets.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/79908/1/VfS_2013_pid_518.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79908.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79908
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/Email:


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  1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process; A Simple Framework and New Facts," IMF Working Papers 12/296, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200604, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  4. Lamla, Michael J. & Lein, Sarah M., 2014. "The role of media for consumers’ inflation expectation formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 62-77.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal To Replace The New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328, November.
  6. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  7. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," NBER Working Papers 9491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Consumers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "The Dynamics of European Inflation Expectations," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200603, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  11. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  12. Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," 2011 Meeting Papers 535, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  14. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Christopher D Carroll, 2002. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," Economics Working Paper Archive 477, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  16. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201216, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  17. Amit Goval & Ivo Welch, 2004. "A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," NBER Working Papers 10483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lena Dräger, 2011. "Endogenous Persistence with Recursive Inattentiveness," KOF Working papers 11-285, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  19. repec:dgr:kubcen:2012048 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
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