Tracking Inattention

30 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2020

See all articles by Nathan Goldstein

Nathan Goldstein

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 10, 2019


This study proposes a real-time estimate of inattention, based on micro-level data. I show that a simple specification that estimates the persistence of a forecaster’s deviation from the mean provides a direct estimate for parameters of information rigidity according to prominent models of expectations. Using the new specification, I revise several main findings documented in the previous literature. Inattention levels are higher, with time-variation that differs across variables. A significant variation across forecast horizons is also documented, posing a challenge to understanding expectations formation. I also report new results from long-run forecasts and document an unprecedented response to COVID-19.

Keywords: Expectations, Information Rigidity, Rational Inattention, COVID-19

JEL Classification: E3, E4, E5

Suggested Citation

Goldstein, Nathan, Tracking Inattention (March 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Nathan Goldstein (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900

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