Would Households Understand Average Inflation Targeting?
46 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2021 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021
Date Written: December 1, 2021
Yes, they would. In a randomized control trial, we provide groups of respondents from the Bundesbank Online Panel Households with information about a hypothetical alternative ECB monetary policy regime akin to the Federal Reserve’s flexible average inflation targeting (AIT). Inflation expectations significantly increase for the treated individuals. When provided with additional assumptions about current inflation, individuals update their expected inflation path in line with the central banks’ intentions. Individuals with a high trust in the ECB’s ability to achieve price stability adjust their inflation expectations particularly strongly. We assess the economic significance of our findings by comparing two model economies under different monetary policy strategies, calibrated to match the difference in medium-term inflation expectations from our survey results. Inflation is substantially less volatile and the frequency of hitting the lower bound of interest rates considerably reduced under AIT.
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