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Growth expectations, undue optimism, and short-run fluctuations

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  • Enders, Zeno
  • Kleemann, Michael
  • Müller, Gernot

Abstract

Expectations matter for economic activity. To the extent that they are fundamentally unwarranted, they represent "undue optimism or pessimism" (Pigou, 1927). In this paper, we identify empirically the effect of undue optimism/pessism ("optimism shocks") on economic activity. In a first step, we compute an expectation error regarding current economic activity: the difference of the Ifo index of economic activity and its consensus forecast, compiled simultaneously and independently. The resulting "Ifo innovations" may represent either fundamental innovations or optimism shocks. In a second step, we impose long-run restrictions on a VAR model to disentangle the effects of both shocks. We find that optimism shocks - in line with theory - reduce Ifo innovations, but raise economic activity. They account for up to 30% of short-run fluctuations in industrial production.

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  • Enders, Zeno & Kleemann, Michael & Müller, Gernot, 2013. "Growth expectations, undue optimism, and short-run fluctuations," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80009, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:80009
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    Cited by:

    1. Enders, Zeno & Peter, Alexandra, 2015. "Global Banking, Trade, and the International Transmission of the Great Recession," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113022, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Dées, Stéphane & Zimic, Srečko, 2016. "Animal spirits, fundamental factors and business cycle fluctuations," Working Paper Series 1953, European Central Bank.
    3. Kenza Benhima & Céline Poilly, 2017. "Do Misperceptions about Demand Matter? Theory and Evidence," Working Papers halshs-01518467, HAL.
    4. Dietmar Fehr & Frank Heinemann & Aniol Llorente-Saguer, 2011. "The Power of Sunspots: An Experimental Analysis," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_33, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    5. Nowzohour, Laura & Stracca, Livio, 2017. "More than a feeling: confidence, uncertainty and macroeconomic fluctuations," Working Paper Series 2100, European Central Bank.
    6. Ricco, Giovanni, 2015. "A new identification of fiscal shocks based on the information flow," Working Paper Series 1813, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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