Public Information and Household Expectations in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
40 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2009
Date Written: April 24, 2009
Governments provide public information about economic conditions to reduce information imperfections and facilitate efficient allocation of resources. Do households in developing countries rely on public signals to inform themselves about market conditions? To identify the importance of public information in households' price expectations, we take advantage of a unique natural experiment in Ecuador where the published inflation rate had been different from the true rate over a period of 14 months due to a software error. We find that the public signal about prices plays an important role in households' price expectations; the effect is stronger for better educated families, older people and men.
Keywords: Public Information, Price Expectations, Developing Countries, Natural Experiment, Heterogeneity
JEL Classification: O12, D10, D84
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation