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Jel Classification:E71 

Working Paper
Low Passthrough from Inflation Expectations to Income Growth Expectations: Why People Dislike Inflation

Using a novel experimental setup, we study the direction of causality between consumers’ inflation expectations and their income growth expectations. In a large, nationally representative survey of US consumers, we find that the rate of passthrough from expected inflation to expected income growth is incomplete, on the order of 20 percent. There is no statistically significant effect going in the other direction. Passthrough varies systematically with demographic and socioeconomic factors, with greater passthrough for higher-income individuals than lower-income individuals, although it is ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-21

Working Paper
Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations: Theory and Evidence

Based on indirect utility theory, we introduce a novel methodology of measuring inflation expectations indirectly. This methodology starts at the individual level, asking consumers about the change in income required to buy the same amounts of goods and services one year ahead. Analytically, our methodology possesses smaller ex-post aggregate inflation forecast errors relative to forecasts based on conventional survey questions. We ask this question in a large-scale, high-frequency survey of consumers in the US and 14 countries, and we show that indirect consumer inflation expectations ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-35

Working Paper
Low Passthrough from Inflation Expectations to Income Growth Expectations: Why People Dislike Inflation

We implement a novel methodology to disentangle two-way causality in inflation and income expectations in a large, nationally representative survey of US consumers. We find a 20 percent passthrough from expected inflation to expected income growth, but no statistically significant effect in the other direction. Passthrough is higher for higher-income individuals and men. Higher inflation expectations increase consumers’ likelihood to search for higher-paying new jobs. In a calibrated search-and-matching model, dampened responses of wages to demand and supply shocks translate into greater ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-21R

Working Paper
Aggregate Implications of Heterogeneous Inflation Expectations: The Role of Individual Experience

We show that inflation expectations are heterogeneous and depend on past individual experiences. We propose a diagnostic expectations-augmented Kalman filter to represent consumers’ heterogeneous inflation expectations-formation process, where heterogeneity comes from an anchoring-to-the-past mechanism. We estimate the diagnosticity parameter that governs the inflation expectations-formation process and show that the model can replicate systematic differences in inflation expectations across cohorts in the US. We introduce this mechanism into a New Keynesian model and find that ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-04

Working Paper
Inflation Thresholds and Inattention

Inflation expectations are key to economic activity, and in the current economic climate of a heated labor market, they are central to the policy debate. At the same time, a growing literature on inattention suggests that individuals, and therefore individual behavior, may not be sensitive to changes in inflation when it is low. This paper explores evidence of such inattention by constructing three different measures based on the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers 1-year ahead inflation expectations. Exploring inflation thresholds of 2, 3, and 4 percent, our findings are ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-14

Working Paper
Survey Data and Subjective Beliefs in Business Cycle Models

This paper develops a theory of subjective beliefs that departs from rational expectations, and shows that biases in household beliefs have quantitatively large effects on macroeconomic aggregates. The departures are formalized using model-consistent notions of pessimism and optimism and are disciplined by data on household forecasts. The role of subjective beliefs is quantified in a business cycle model with goods and labor market frictions. Consistent with the survey evidence, an increase in pessimism generates upward biases in unemployment and inflation forecasts and lowers economic ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-14

Working Paper
How Robust Are Makeup Strategies to Key Alternative Assumptions?

We analyze the robustness of makeup strategies—policies that aim to offset, at least in part, past misses of inflation from its objective—to alternative modeling assumptions, with an emphasis on the role of inflation expectations. We survey empirical evidence on the behavior of shorter-run and long-run inflation expectations. Using simulations from the FRB/US macroeconomic model, we find that makeup strategies can moderately offset the real effects of adverse economic shocks, even when much of the public is uninformed about the monetary strategy. We also discuss the robustness of makeup ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-069

Working Paper
Learning and Misperception: Implications for Price-Level Targeting

Monetary policy strategies that target the price level have been advocated as a more effective way to provide economic stimulus in a deep recession when conventional monetary policy is limited by the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. Yet, the effectiveness of these strategies depends on a central bank's ability to steer agents' expectations about the future path of the policy rate. We develop a flexible method of learning about the central bank's policy rule from observed interest rates that takes into account the limited informational content at the zero lower bound. When agents ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-078

Working Paper
The Transmission of International Monetary Policy Shocks on Firms' Expectations

Motivated by the dominant role of the US dollar, we explore how monetary policy (MP) shocks in the US can affect a small open economy through the expectation channel. We combine data from a panel survey of firms' expectations in Uruguay with granular information about firms' debt position and total imports on a monthly basis. We show that a contractionary MP shock in the US reduces firms' inflation and cost expectations in Uruguay. This result contrasts with the inflationary effect of this shock on the Uruguayan economy, suggesting uncertainty about the policy regime. We discuss the issues ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-01

Working Paper
Janus's Money Demand and Time Inconsistency: A New Impossibility Theorem?

We derive a general “Janus” money demand function that reflects backward- and forward-looking habit formation. The scope of our model allows us to explain the breakdown of money-demand functions and reduced policy relevance of monetary aggregates. Integrating our Janus money demand into a Barro-Gordon framework reveals new insights for time inconsistency in monetary policy and a new impossibility theorem.
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 23-04


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